StaTuesday: Grading Matt LaFleur’s debut season with Packers

January 7, 2020

It was quite the debut season for Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur.

Hired to replace longtime coach Mike McCarthy, who was fired last year after missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, LaFleur guided Green Bay to a 13-3 record and a first-round bye in 2019.

So how does LaFleur compare to his NFL peers?

The analysts at grade out NFL head coaches on a 0-10 scale in five key categories: play calling, personnel utilization, game planning, in-game adjustments and clock management.

All 32 head coaches are then assigned an overall score based on their performance and are ranked among their peers. The website released its final ratings after the regular season concluded.

John Harbaugh, the head coach of the 14-2 Baltimore Ravens, led the league with an 8.1 overall rating, besting second-place Sean Payton of New Orleans (8.0).

In last place was Perry Fewell, who was named Carolina’s interim head coach on Dec. 3 after Ron Rivera was fired. Fewell tallied a 5.8 rating.

The worst rating given to a coach who lasted an entire season was Cleveland’s Freddie Kitchens and Adam Gase of the New York Jets, both at 6.1. Kitchens, of course, was let go by the Browns shortly after the regular season ended.

According to these rankings, LaFleur tied for the 13th-best head coach this season.

He posted an overall score of 7.0, which ranked 11th out of the 12 coaches that made the postseason. Tampa Bay’s Bruce Arians was the only non-playoff coach to beat LaFleur’s rating. Arians tied for eighth with a 7.2 rating.

Let’s break it down further.

LaFleur cracked the top five in clock management (7.3) and tied for sixth in the league with a personnel score of 7.5. He posted a 6.8 in game planning, 6.8 in in-game adjustments and 6.7 in play calling.


Play Calling 6.7 t-18
Personnel 7.5 t-6
Game Plan 6.8 t-21
In-Game Adjustments 6.8 t-18
Clock Management 7.3 t-5
Overall 7.0 t-13

The 13 wins go down as the most for a Packers head coach in his first season at the helm. He also is the first coach in Green Bay to win the division in his first season.

Only five coaches – LaFleur, Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, Mike Holmgren and Mike Sherman – posted a record over .500 in their debut campaigns.


Matt LaFleur 13-3 .813
Curly Lambeau 3-2-1 .600
Vince Lombardi 7-5 .583
Mike Holmgren 9-7 .563
Mike Sherman 9-7 .563
Forest Gregg 8-8 .500
Ray Rhodes 8-8 .500
Mike McCarthy 8-8 .500
Phil Bengtson 6-7-1 .462
Lisle Blackbourn 4-8 .333
Dan Devine 4-8-2 .333
Bart Starr 4-10 .286
Lindy Infante 4-12 .250
Gene Ronzani 3-9 .250
Ray McLean 1-10-1 .091

LaFleur could add to his resume – and boost the coach rankings – with a deep run in the postseason. Green Bay will put that to the test Sunday night against Seattle.

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