Packers: Matt LaFleur a finalist for AP Coach of the Year award

Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur - Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur - Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Matt LaFleur has established himself as one of the NFL’s best head coaches and offensive minds in his first two seasons with the Green Bay Packers.

LaFleur has guided the Packers to consecutive NFC Championship Games with two 13-3 records and two NFC North titles to go with it.

Meanwhile, his offense ranked first in the NFL for points while Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams both set new single-season franchise records.

LaFleur didn’t win the 2020 AP Coach of the Year award, but he came close. According to Olivia Reiner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, LaFleur was a finalist for the award. The winner was Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski.

Stefanski had a great season, no doubt. He guided the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs for the first time since 2002, and they also defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild-card round despite missing players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Even Stefanski had to watch the playoff game from his home.

It’s understandable why Stefanski is the winner this year after the season he had, but you could make an equally as strong case for LaFleur.

Having Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback seems to prevent LaFleur getting the credit he deserves. Yet LaFleur inherited a team, with Rodgers, that had failed to make the playoffs two years in a row and fired their head coach before the season was even over in 2018.

In the two years since, the Packers have gone 26-6 in the regular season, won two playoff games, and reached the NFC Championship Game twice. They were the NFC’s second seed in 2019 and the top seed this year.

This season, Stefanski’s Browns finished third in their division and made the playoffs as a wild-card. LaFleur’s Packers were NFC North champions, the NFC’s top seed, and didn’t even need to play in the wild-card round.

LaFleur didn’t win the award, but he’s quickly proven how good he is.