Cory's Corner: Crosby's Consistency Is Best When Games Matter

Mason Crosby is nearly perfect kicking in the postseason.

What is the one position that is often overlooked and desperately needs consistency with a championship on the line?

While quarterback is the most important position in all of sports, a reliable kicker has been sorely needed. 

There have been 10 postseason games so far and I've seen just about enough of kicks donging off the upright and extra points — extra points — not even having a chance to kiss the kicking the net. Postseason kickers are a combined 39-for-41 booting extra points and an abysmal 35-for-43 kicking field goals.  

Justin Tucker, who is the current leader in career field goal percentage, was a combined 3-for-6 in a wild card win and a divisional round loss. Yet, he knows that no matter how bad the winds were swirling inside Bills Stadium, he knows he didn't do good enough. 

"Accountability is key," Tucker said. "My job is to make the kick in whatever circumstance."

Ironically enough, Kansas City's Harrison Butker is No. 2 in career field goal percentage and missed an extra point and a 33-yard field goal on Sunday in an AFC Divisional Round Playoff over the Browns. The Saints' Will Lutz is No. 5 and he missed a 50-yard field goal in the wild card round. 

There have been a lot of Packers fans that have pulled their hair out over Mason Crosby. The same Crosby, who is No. 44 on the career field goal percentage list by making kicks 81.754 percent of the time. Yet, this year, Crosby had his first perfect season of his career by going 16-for-16. He has kept that streak alive by nailing 24 and 39-yard field goals. Crosby even got his money's worth on a poor snap on an extra point attempt when holder JK Scott passed the ball to Crosby, hoping that Crosby could somehow pull a rabbit out of his hat. 

In the playoffs, points matter. Whenever a team has a chance to put points on the board, they have to take advantatge. Crosby knows this. Aaron Rodgers and Crosby are the two players still in the locker room from the team that won the Super Bowl title in 2010. 

"A lot of confidence," said Packers coach Matt LaFleur after the Packers beat Carolina in Week 15. "He's been Mr. Consistent since the day we arrived here. He's been so reliable. What a great leader. What a great guy in the locker room."

Crosby is one of two kickers, along with Jacksonville's Josh Lambo, that proudly wear the captain "C" patch on their chest. That really shows how much confidence his teammates have in him. If I was Crosby's teammate, I would put all of my trust in him as well. He is 28-for-31 on postseason field goals and is a perfect 67-for-67 kicking playoff extra points. 

The thing that separates Crosby is that he doesn't let the moment get too big for him. That showed up in Super Bowl XLV when he was 4-for-4 kicking extra points while also making his lone field goal attempt. 

What surprises me is, Crosby is still considered underrated, despite his impressive postseason resume. Consistency is the most important aspect of a kicker and Crosby is at his best when the games matter most. 

 

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (10)

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NickPerry's picture

January 19, 2021 at 06:36 am

"There have been a lot of Packers fans that have pulled their hair out over Mason Crosby."

I was definitely one of those Packers fans. After the 2012 season when Crosby finished hitting only 63.64% of his FG, I was all in on replacing him. Ted Thompson did a very Ted thing. He cut Crosby's salary, gave him incentives to make it up, and Crosby responded in a BIG way hitting on over 89% in 2013.

But even after Masons best season to date at that time, I'd still hold my breath and close one eye on ANY attempt he made for at least 2 or 3 years. Gradually I opened both eyes and stopped holding my breath. But when I was ALL IN on Crosby was after the 2016 Divisional game against the Cowboys when he hit not one but TWO 50 plus yard FG as time expired.

Crosby may not have the best FG percentage in NFL history, BUT there is NO ONE I'd rather have as the Packers kicker and it's been that way since that game in Dallas in 2016. He makes kicks in Green Bay in December and January like he's kicking indoors. I hope he can kick another 3 or 4 years in GB. He's the best they've ever had.

After learning about what Crosby had went through in 2019 with his wife Molly's battle with cancer, I gained yet another level of respect for this man. Crosby not only had his BEST season as a kicker in the NFL (before this year) at over 91%, he never missed a game. Great kicker, greater man.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

January 19, 2021 at 08:03 am

The story of Molly's battle with cancer and Mason's support is truly inspiring.

It is such a comfort to have a kicker that we can have complete confidence in to convert the field goal.

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johhoc5's picture

January 19, 2021 at 07:36 am

Is Cosby ok? It looked like he broke his collarbone on the bad snap.

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packer132's picture

January 19, 2021 at 09:14 pm

Injury report comes out on Wednesday for the week

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Tundraboy's picture

January 19, 2021 at 08:38 am

Performance wise Crosbys always the least of my concerns and in the playoffs he’s clutch. I sure hope the shoulder is OK though.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 19, 2021 at 09:14 am

Crosby doesn't get enough love. Without him where would we be. Just look at other teams and how they have went through kicker after kicker.
Crosby has been the ultimate pro and great teammate.

Hopefully Crosby will be good to go. What turned out to be a botched snapped could have and be something really bad for us. Hopefully he will be good to go. He is very important to our team!

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Since'61's picture

January 19, 2021 at 09:27 am

I have always thought that Crosby was a solid place kicker. His ability to consistently kick FGs in Lambeau’s weather is a huge plus for the Packers.

After the botched snap Crosby kicked off successfully. I don’t think his shoulder injury will impact his kicking at least I hope not. Thanks, Since ‘61

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TheVOR's picture

January 19, 2021 at 09:51 am

Has always been, and will always be one of my favorite all time kickers. He had one year where he got the yipps, but otherwise he's been a very solid guy. Has made so many "Big Time" kicks, like those back to back game winners in the Dallas playoff game a few years back.

Also, the dude used to play DB I believe in high school, and he's made several key tackles in his career in the return game. You never want your kicker making tackles in the return game, but he's done it almost flawlessly when he has to. The dude is not afraid of making a tackle, that's for sure.

Finally, until they had to screw with the onside kick rules, this guy was a really good onside kick, one of the best IMO.

I'm a huge fan, hope he's OK, looks like he had a 310 lb. goon dead weight drop on him last week. A great Green Bay Packer! I'm a huge fan of the kicking game, and a huge fan of Mason Crosby.

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tonys247's picture

January 19, 2021 at 10:49 am

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The opponent? Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who won six Super Bowls with New England and has a chance to win a seventh for his new team.

One day after the Packers mostly dominated the Los Angeles Rams in a 32-18 victory, the Buccaneers punished the New Orleans Saints 30-20 at the Superdome. The same swarming defense that made life miserable for Rodgers and Co. in October produced four takeaways and made Drew Brees look like an old man.

That set up a made-for-TV showdown between two living legends. Rodgers and Brady will meet for only the fourth time in their illustrious careers. It will be by far the most important, with Green Bays infamous loss at Seattle in the 2014 NFC Championship Game robbing the world of a Rodgers vs. Brady matchup in the Super Bowl. Rodgers desperately wants to win a second Super Bowl. Brady desperately wants to win a Super Bowl without Bill Belichick.

We ve got to go beat a great football team. Aarons playing incredible. Were going to have to play great to beat them,” Brady told Foxs Erin Andrews after the game.

The early forecast for Sunday is a high of 23 with a chance of snow.

While they never would have admitted it, the Packers probably would have preferred a matchup against Brees and the Saints. Never mind that Green Bay won at New Orleans 37-30 in Week 3 but lost at Tampa Bay 38-10 in Week 6. Brees, who has spent all 20 seasons playing in the warmth of San Diego or the dome in New Orleans, played in only one game with a kickoff temperature of 25 or colder. Brady, meanwhile, is a resounding 15-3.

Almost exactly three months ago, the Packers were outclassed by the Bucs. Coming off its bye, Green Bay raced to a 10-0 lead but Rodgers threw a pick-six and an interception on back-to-back possessions. The Packers never crossed midfield over the final three quarters. They had nine first downs on their first two possessions and four in their final 10.

Might need to add an extra finger to the scotch, but I do feel good about the team,” Rodgers said after a miserable afternoon. Ive played for so long, youre going to have a couple stinkers. I think about the game at New York many years ago [2012] where I hit Jordy (Nelson) on an out-and-up to start the game, and we lost 38-10. Tonight kind of felt like that, unfortunately, where you kind of got off to a nice start and then just nothing. So, I feel really good about our squad. Weve had four really, really good weeks, being efficient, winning, offensively being very explosive, defensively coming up with timely stops.

This is, I believe, an anomaly, not the beginning of a trend. And weve got a chance to prove me right next week.”

Rodgers was proven right again and again. The Packers will enter Sundays championship game with seven consecutive wins.

In a heavyweight showdown on Saturday, Green Bays top-ranked scoring offense overwhelmed the Rams top-ranked scoring defense. It will be a similar challenge on Sunday.

Brees was 19-of-34 passing for just 134 yards. Premier receiver Michael Thomas was shut out on four targets.

Rodgers, of course, is a far better player than Brees at this point in his career. Hes the likely MVP after throwing 48 touchdown passes in the regular season and two more in the playoffs. He led the NFL in passer rating, touchdown passes, completion percentage, touchdown percentage and interception percentage.

Tampa Bays defense is legit. The Bucs finished eighth in points allowed and first against the run with 80.6 yards per game and 3.60 yards per carry. Linebacker Devin White, who had 11 tackles and one interception against the Saints, had 10 tackles, one sack and three tackles for losses against Green Bay. The Bucs had five sacks in the first meeting.

While the reality is it will be Rodgers facing that dominant defense and Green Bays defense contending with the legendary Brady and his deep list of weapons, the hype will be centered on Rodgers vs. Brady – arguably the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

When it comes to big picture and you guys writing your stories and telling that whole story, which I know is a part of it, its two older guys,” Rodgers said before the Week 6 game. Hes a little bit older than I am – hes got me by about six-and-a-half or seven years – but we havent played a lot because hes been in the AFC the majority of his career and Ive been over here.

Hes obviously done it at the highest of levels for so long. Hes been an icon at the position. Hes been somebody that weve all looked up to for so many years as the standard of excellence. I think theres a ton of admiration and respect for the way that hes played the game from so many of us, especially us guys whove been in the same era for so many years with him and gotten to compete with him every now and then being an NFC guy. I think its good that we just enjoy it for what it is, have respect and admiration for the way that we have played over this time, and enjoy where were at in our careers now.”

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mnbadger's picture

January 19, 2021 at 12:42 pm

A couple of earlier posts sum up Mason Crosby, Great Packer player, teammate, husband, father and citizen. You can't ask for more. Tip of the hat to the Captain. GPG

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