Aaron Rodgers Admits Frustration with LaFleur’s Play Calls Near End of 4Q vs. Cowboys

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 14, 2022

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) yells at Head coach Matt LaFleur after the last play in regulation against the Dallas Cowboys during an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps

Aaron Rodgers was visibly frustrated with head coach Matt LaFleur after a conservative late-game approach led to overtime, albeit in a 31-28 win for the Green Bay Packers over the Dallas Cowboys.


Aaron Rodgers shows frustration towards Matt LaFleur after the third-down play call.<br><br>📺: FOX <a href="https://t.co/hCg0fe9wF2">pic.twitter.com/hCg0fe9wF2</a>

After Sunday's game, Rodgers went into more detail about his reaction while speaking with reporters.

"Just every single play call, probably," he said of his frustrations. "I felt like we were like 30 yards from ending the game in regulation, and also felt like it was two minutes, so I was going to be calling those, and I was in a pretty good rhythm. Obviously, I didn't have a ton of attempts, but felt like I was in a pretty good rhythm. I felt like I threw the ball just about exactly where I wanted to, so I wanted a chance to go win the game."

The sequence in question started with 1:38 remaining in the fourth quarter, with the Packers taking over at their own 33-yard line after a Cowboys punt. LaFleur dialed up two straight runs—which ran the clock down to 30 seconds—before going with a pass on 3rd-and-1, which fell incomplete.

The Packers then punted it back to the Cowboys, who weren't able to move down the field to kick a game-winning field goal, and the Packers ultimately won in overtime.

Lily Zhao @LilySZhao

An emotional Matt LaFleur addresses his team after a big win. Love this from coach. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Packers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Packers</a> <a href="https://t.co/jqyFHAJFXu">pic.twitter.com/jqyFHAJFXu</a>

Rob Demovsky @RobDemovsky

Matt LaFleur said he got emotional after the game and did so again here in his press conference.<br><br>"We put a lot into this, and it's tough at times," LaFleur said before pausing. "It means a lot to us. To be down and fight and contnue to fight, that's what you want to see."

It was a huge result, ending a five-game losing streak for Green Bay. But it was a game that perhaps wouldn't have needed overtime in the first place with a more aggressive approach late in regulation.

LaFleur admitted some "indecision" on his part regarding the final sequence, noting the Cowboys had three timeouts remaining and he worried about the possibility of giving them the ball with too much time remaining if Rodgers threw a couple of incompletions and the Packers had to punt.

"It didn't work out, at least in that moment, but it did work out obviously for us to be able to come out on top," he told reporters. "A lot of times when we get in those situations, we give Aaron a ton of freedom to kind of run the show. I'd say typically, he does such a great job with it. So, hindsight is 20/20, but that was on me, totally."

A loss would have overshadowed the huge game from rookie wideout Christian Watson, who caught four passes for 107 yards and three scores. There have been major question marks about Rodgers' weapons this season—or lack thereof—but the emergence of Watson could be enormous for a Packers team now fighting to return to the playoff picture.

"We've seen what we can be, and we've seen it was only us getting in our own way," Watson told reporters after the game. "All we had to do was believe."