The Los Angeles Chargers were a playoff team one year ago, finishing 12-4 and tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for the best mark in the AFC. This season, things haven’t gone as well for the Chargers, starting 3-5. But Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur knows the Chargers are still plenty talented and he tried to convey that message to his players. But that message appears to not have hit home with everyone.
The Packers lost the game 26-11, playing their worst game of the season.
LaFleur took his team to California a day early and after the game, quarterback Aaron Rodgers said it was important for everyone on offense to re-evaluate how they used the extra day in California to prepare. Rodgers inferred that some of his teammates may have treated this trip as more than a business trip.
Leaving two days early for a trip west has been done before. Mike McCarthy did it several times. But somewhere along the way, the message for LaFleur got lost in the shuffle. For that reason, the coach is re-evaluating his plan for the Los Angeles trip and will have to consider if he wants to make changes when the Packers head to San Francisco in three weeks.
“I think anytime you go out and you put a performance like that,” LaFleur said, “that’s the first thing that comes to mind was, were we into it? We talked about it all week, that this game was going to take laser focus. When you’re sitting at 7-1 and you’re playing a team that’s 3-5, I don’t care, that was a good football team. And that’s what I told our guys.
“I don’t think I did a good enough job of preparing our players for what type of team they were going to play.”
The Packers have the day off Tuesday and will return to the practice field on Wednesday, preparing for Sunday’s home game against the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field (3:25 kick time). Following that game, the Packers will get a bye week off before heading west to face the 49ers.