The Green Bay Packers have seen their playoff hopes essentially disappear in their last two games. They entered their Monday Night Football matchup with the New York Giants in Week 14 riding a three-game winning streak and in seventh place in the NFC.
A victory would have gone a long way to solidifying their standing as a Wild Card team. Unfortunately for the Packers, they were unable to get the win. After Jordan Love led the offense on a go-ahead touchdown drive with 1:33 remaining in the game, Green Bay watched undrafted rookie free agent Tommy DeVito pick apart their defense and put the Giants in position for a 37-yard game-winning field goal from Randy Bullock as time expired.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry came under fire for that loss. His scheme, playing soft coverage despite the Giants only needing a field goal to win the game, was head-scratching. His unit has underachieved consistently despite having a ton of talent, and they came up short again in Week 15.
Returning to Lambeau Field to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Packers could have once again solidified their standing with a victory. Instead, Baker Mayfield carved them up, putting together a historic game from a visiting player.
Now at 6-8, the Packers’ chances of making the postseason have all but vanished. They will need a lot of help along the way and to go on another three-game winning streak to have any chance of advancing.
Despite the shortcomings in the last few weeks, head coach Matt LaFleur made a decision that will surprise a lot of people. Don’t expect changes to come any time soon, as he is sticking with Barry as his defensive coordinator.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 18, 2023
That is a decision that will land LaFleur squarely on the hot seat. Missing the playoffs for a second straight season, in large part because of the defense’s performance, is not something that will sit well with the fan base. Ownership may not be fond of the idea either as Barry is working with a ton of high-end talent but can never consistently get the group to play at a high level.
That will be something to keep an eye on going forward. LaFleur will certainly be on thinner ice after such a decision, as a bad end to the season could result in him being fired in the offseason as well.