Packers Coach Matt LaFleur Takes Responsibility for Team’s Brutal Mistake on Final Play

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Packers Coach Matt LaFleur Takes Responsibility for Team’s Brutal Mistake on Final Play
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As the 49ers lined up to kick their game-winning field goal, the Packers’ special teams lined up to attempt a block with only 10 men on the field.

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The Packers’ special teams unit had a collective dumpster fire of a night during Saturday’s 13–10 loss to the 49ers in the divisional round. It culminated with the field goal block team lining up with only 10 men on the field on the game’s final play. Afterwards, Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur singled out one person responsible for that last blunder: himself.

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“That can’t happen,” LaFleur said, per Kevn Patra of NFL.com. “It’s unacceptable. And, again, that’s on me.”

Having 10 men on the field for Robbie Gould’s game-winning field goal was not the sole reason for Green Bay’s defeat, but it was the perfect end to a wholly imperfect performance: the Packers had a field goal attempt blocked just before the half that would have given them a 10–0 lead; San Francisco’s third-quarter field goal drive was set up when Green Bay allowed a 45-yard return on a kickoff; and the only touchdown the Packers allowed came on a blocked punt returned for a score with under five minutes to play.

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For the third straight season, the Packers have won 13 games only to get knocked out before reaching the Super Bowl. This year’s early exit will sting perhaps more than the others, but at least now Green Bay can very easily identify one area for improvement in order to avoid a similar fate next season.

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