The Green Bay Packers are heading into their Bye Week following arguably their most frustrating loss of the season. In their Week Five game against the Las Vegas Raiders, a Packers team with superior talent failed to execute their plays and allowed the lowly Raiders to steal a win at home.
Perhaps most frustrating of all was the play-calling throughout the course of the game. For the third consecutive game, head coach Matt LaFleur failed to coordinate a drive that ended in a touchdown until the second half. LaFleur’s scheme came under fire earlier this week when former Packers quarterback Kurt Benkert called it “predictable.”
Now, a second former Packers quarterback, and one with a much higher profile, has questioned LaFleur’s decision making.
Former Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Calls Out Matt LaFleur’s Play-Calling
Aaron Rodgers, of course, still has his weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show despite being out for the season with a torn Achilles. He follows the Packers closely, though, and has spoken highly of Jordan Love throughout the season.
“I sent Jordan Love a message last night and he’s a great kid..
The important thing as a QB is to keep your confidence and we all go through growing pains..
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 10, 2023
During his most recent segment, Rodgers revealed that he messaged Love after the tough loss and encouraged Packers fans to remain patient because, in his opinion, Love is going to be great.
Rodgers did, however, have one criticism for the team, and it was an indirect criticism of LaFleur’s play-calling:
“There’s things about the offense that I know because I ran a similar offense there, so I have an idea about what they’re trying to do. I felt like, kind of like in our game, there were times in the red zone where they weren’t maybe as aggressive as they should have been.”
While Rodgers does not mention LaFleur by name, any criticism of the offense is a criticism of LaFleur, who calls the plays.
The set of plays that Rodgers is referring to came after Love completed a long pass to Christian Watson. The Raiders’ defender, in order to stop Watson from scoring, horse-collared him to the ground. Had he not done that, Watson would have scored a touchdown.
As a result of the illegal tackle (and penalty), Love and the offense had first down from inside the five. Instead of using play-action or rolling Love out of the pocket, which is what they had the most success with, they ran three predictable plays and settled for a field goal.
The inconsistencies and struggles of a youthful offense were expected to happen. What has been an unpleasant surprise is the inconsistencies and struggles of the coaching staff, particularly on offense.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry is on the hot seat after two bad years in 2021 and 2022. However, his defense is not the reason Green Bay lost to the Raiders. His defense allowed just 17 points, 14 if one takes away the field goal Love and the offense gifted them by turning the ball over near their own end zone.
After games, particularly losses, Coach LaFleur always says the same thing: “It on me;” “We got to look at the more;” I didn’t do a good job preparing them.” Taking responsibility is all well and good, but when will fans see a difference?
Hopefully after the Bye Week.