Matt LaFleur sends a message to Anders Carlson after Packers brutal playoff loss

Green Bay Packers
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It felt inevitable. Once the Green Bay Packers failed to convert on third down and sent rookie kicker Anders Carlson out to attempt a 41-yard field goal, many fans could've predicted the ending.

Carlson brutally missed the kick, which meant Green Bay held only a four-point lead. San Francisco took over, marched down the field, and scored the game-winning touchdown with a Christian McCaffrey rush.

It left only a little over a minute for Jordan Love to find a game-winner of his own, or at least put the Packers in field-goal range. But a costly pick ended the game.

Carlson has struggled throughout his rookie year, but his final miss cost the Packers badly in the playoffs.

Matt LaFleur reacts to Anders Carlson's brutal missed kick in Packers season-ending loss

After the game, LaFleur was asked what went wrong on Carlson's costly field-goal miss.

"I don't know. I think if we had the answer, we would've fixed it," said LaFleur. "Certainly, got to work on the consistency. We've seen him do it. We know what he's capable of. You've got to be consistent to last in this league."

During the broadcast, Tom Rinaldi reported that LaFleur said this about Carlson: "When he goes out there, I just pray."

So, why was he still on the roster ahead of the biggest game of the season?

An argument can be made that Carlson's lack of consistency should've made the Packers rethink their options at kicker sooner. He has now missed at least one kick in 10 of his last 12 games. That's not good enough for an NFL kicker, regardless of whether it's his first year.

On the other side of the field, another rookie kicker, Jake Moody, hit a 52-yarder in the second half. His only miss was on a blocked kick.

Carlson's consistency was an issue all the way back at training camp. The Packers remained patient in his rookie year, which is fine in a rebuilding season. But once the Packers entered the playoff race, and especially once the postseason began, they had to consider their options.

The pressure will be on Carlson in the summer. As LaFleur put it bluntly, you need to be consistent to "last in this league."