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Packers’ Matt LaFleur admits he was wrong to challenge Romeo Doubs TD: ‘Worst decision of the day’

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Matt LaFleur didn’t challenge a call in the Packers’ first three games of the 2022 NFL season. However, he called for one against the Patriots in the hopes of overturning a Romeo Doubs drop that would have been a go-ahead touchdown.

The coach later admitted doing so was his “worst decision of the day.”

“I’m not too proud of that moment,” LaFleur said after the game, per ESPN. “That was an emotional decision, and I think it’s a great learning lesson that you can never make those emotional decisions in the heat of battle. You know better.”

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In real time, it looked like Doubs may have caught the ball, but on replay, it was clear that he didn’t hold onto the deep pass from Aaron Rodgers. He couldn’t survive contact with the ground, and that jarred the ball loose with 2:08 left in the fourth quarter.

LaFleur knew this, and so did other members of his coaching staff. But still, he felt compelled to drop the red flag.

“[Assistant quarterbacks coach] Connor Lewis was in my ear, he’s up in the box and he’s in my ear, and he said, ‘I don’t think so.’ And he said that we shouldn’t challenge it,” LaFleur admitted. “Just made an emotional decision, and it was almost like throwing a Hail Mary.”

“That could have came back and bit us in the butt,” he added.

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Indeed, it could have. The Packers weren’t able to get into scoring range against the Patriots and had to punt the ball back to New England. Green Bay came up with a three-and-out and forced New England to punt from its own 11-yard line. That could have set the Packers up with a solid scoring opportunity.

There was just one problem. The Patriots punted with 14 seconds left on the clock. So, by the time the Packers got the ball, there were just four seconds remaining in regulation.

Had LaFleur not challenged Doubs’ obvious drop, the Packers would have retained a timeout. They could have used it to stop the clock with just under a minute left. Had they gotten the same field position at their own 42-yard line, they would have had ample time to get into field-goal range for Mason Crosby.

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The challenge didn’t end up affecting the result of the game. Crosby was able to make a 31-yard field goal as time expired in overtime to give the Packers a 27-24 win.

Still, the careless challenge by LaFleur gave the Patriots the chance to take the game to overtime. Certainly, that will be on his mind the next time he thinks about challenging a questionable play.


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