Mason Crosby has been a staple for the Green Bay Packers since 2007 as one of the most reliable, clutch kickers in the NFL.
Last Sunday, Crosby missed three field goals that helped keep the Cincinnati Bengals alive. Ultimately, the game was decided in overtime, and Crosby connected on his fourth and most important attempt of the day.
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur deflected the three misses away from his kicker, saying the entire special teams operation needs to imorove.
“I think there’s just some things that we absolutely need to clean up just from an operation standpoint,” LaFleur said, per ESPN. “You can’t put all of that on Mason. I thought there’s some areas that we have to make sure we get corrected, and we will.”
Mason Crosby snaps streak
Crosby had made a career-high and Packers record 27 straight field goals before missing three in the final three minutes of the 4th quarter and overtime. The kicker had not missed a field goal since Week 17, 2019.
The Packers head coach was asked to expand on his initial defense of Mason Crosby and again, alluded at a larger special teams issue. It’s notable that all three of Crosby’s missing kicks were pushed to the left.
“I’m not going to throw anybody under the bus, so I’m not going to expand on that,” LaFleur said. “Sorry, you’re going to have to watch the tape, evaluate it yourself and come up with your own conclusions there.”
Long-snapper Hunter Bradley has had issues this season, and punter Corey Bojorquez is in his first year as the holder. The field-goal blocking unit is shaky, and the coverage team has given up some big returns, including allowing 120 yards on four returns Sunday.
Packers kicker gets redemption
With just 1:55 left in overtime, Mason Crosby had his fourth chance. It wasn’t a chip shot, either, but the longtime Green Bay kicker nailed the 49-yard field goal to secure the victory.
“All I can think about is that last kick right now,” Crosby said after the win.. “You see the faces of your teammates and what those guys put on the line to continue to get in that position. I just want to come through for them. Everyone has all the faith in the world in me, and I have all the faith in the world that I’m going to keep getting those ops.
“I’m so happy I was able to come through there at the end, and I’m going to celebrate it. I’m a realist and I’m honest with myself and I’m probably my harshest critic, so I’m going to make sure that I do what I can and we’ll clean up anything on the other side if there are any operation or protection or things like that. Up front, we moved some guys around and the protection seemed really great all day.”
Mason Crosby doesn’t sound like a man who is concerned with his fluky three misses, but it will be something to keep an eye on for Packers fans.