Matt LaFleur knows a thing or two about winning in the NFC Championship Game.
The last time the Green Bay Packers played in the NFC Championship Game, Matt LaFleur was on the opposite sideline helping the Atlanta Falcons advance to the Super Bowl with a crushing offensive performance.
LaFleur was the Falcons’ quarterbacks coach as Matt Ryan went on to the win the MVP award. The Falcons’ offensive coordinator that season? Kyle Shanahan, the current head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers’ opponents for the NFC Championship this week.
LaFleur and Shanahan were part of Dan Quinn’s staff playing against the Packers three years ago. Now LaFleur is trying to eliminate his former colleague with the Pack.
One has to feel for Falcons fans this week. Their team hasn’t been able to replicate the success it had in 2016 and has failed to reach the playoffs two years running, and now they’ll have to sit back and watch two of their former offensive coaches who were part of that success go head-to-head for a trip to the Super Bowl.
LaFleur is a rookie head coach, but he knows what it takes to win these games. He’s been a part of some highly successful teams before being hired by the Packers. As well as helping Atlanta reach the Super Bowl in 2016, LaFleur was part of the Los Angeles Rams’ success with Sean McVay.
One thing is for sure: LaFleur knows what it takes to win in this league. After having great success with the Falcons and Rams, he has brought playoff football back to Green Bay after two losing seasons. In his first year as head coach, the Packers posted their best win-loss record in almost a decade while also securing a first-round bye in the postseason.
He now has the Packers on the doorstep of the Super Bowl, an incredible accomplishment for a first-year head coach.
The Packers won’t be favorites in this game, especially after their heavy loss to the 49ers earlier in the season. But this team knows how to win big games, and so does LaFleur.