Cory's Corner: Mason Crosby is a super hero

Kickers are easily the most underappreciated members of a football team. They get love when the ball sails through the uprights and hateful venom for every miss.

Mason Crosby wasn’t called upon to kick a field goal until one minute, 33 seconds remained in the NFC Divisional Playoff against Dallas. That alone would make people edgy about entering the game for the first time in a big spot.

But not for Crosby, who has confidently been the Packers kicker since 2007. His boot from 56 yards, which appeared to be leaking to the right, is now the third-longest field goal in playoff history.

“He’s an incredible player, he’s an incredible talent and to do it when it’s all on the line like that, that’s what great players do,” said an elated Packers coach Mike McCarthy. “He got it done for us today.”

But he wasn’t done yet.

After Dallas tied it up at 31 with 35 seconds left, the Packers still had a heartbeat. Even though the majority of the 93,396 fans were screaming for the blue and silver. So after Aaron Rodgers completed the improbable 36-yard “Dash Pass Left” to Jared Cook, the stage was set for Crosby to be the hero.

“As I threw the ball there on the third down, I wasn’t exactly sure where (Cook) was at but I had a good feeling we were going to at least have an opportunity,” said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who ended his consecutive pass streak without an interception at 318. “Then I realized we were inside the 35 and I knew that was well within Mason’s range.”

He nailed the first 51-yard try, only to find out that Dallas coach Jason Garrett opted to ice the kicker — even though evidence has proven it doesn’t work. So after a few moments to collect his thoughts, the kick was the exact opposite of the 56-yard version. Instead of going to the right, this one was pushing left. So much so, the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network thought the kick was missed.

The kick changed course, stayed straight and sneaked through the uprights. The Packers won 34-31 sending the Packers bench into euphoria and forcing Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to work on his backpedal speech.

"It was extra special for 'Mas' to hit those two kicks tonight, he’s the best kicker in the league,” Rodgers said. “He’s got to do it outdoors for much of the season on a tough field at times and he’s so reliable for us. I know he’s made a bunch in a row in the playoffs. It’s just incredible that he makes it twice.”

The script has been the same for the Packers over this eight-game magic carpet ride. Rodgers was a wizard by turning another secondary into a helpless Pop Warner team. This game also had a key pass block by Nick Perry’s club.

Kickers don’t get a lot of love. But after Crosby nailed his 23rd consecutive playoff field goal, I think it’s time the Packers start sewing his cape. He’s officially a super hero.

 

 

-------------------

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

0 points

Comments (19)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Nick Perry's picture

January 17, 2017 at 06:48 am

Awesome write up Cory, nice to see Crosby getting some love. I was one who didn't want Crosby back after his 2012 season and was still holding me breath on every kick up to last season. But Crosby has been money, the fact he's hit 23 in a row with several being outdoors is nothing short of amazing when you think about it. 23 in a row .... in the playoffs.... wow, just wow!

What makes this even better is Crosby was 0-4 on potential game tying or go ahead attempts of 50 yards or longer in the 4th quarter or OT. Now with another game in Atlanta, another indoor game, I wouldn't be surprised if it comes down to Masons leg again. No matter what happens I'm glad Crosby is still our kicker.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Nick Perry's picture

January 17, 2017 at 07:13 am

Off Topic guys....Interesting piece of news from yesterday and maybe it's already been mentioned but......

Adrian Clayborn will be out Sunday for the Falcons. If you remember he sacked Rodgers twice and had several other pressures in the 1st game against Atlanta. He was a major pain in the butt that 1st game.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
MarkinMadison's picture

January 17, 2017 at 08:46 am

Clayborn was one of my favorite players at Iowa. He can be a force.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Handsback's picture

January 17, 2017 at 07:43 am

Looking back at it, Crosby's first kick of 56 yards was by far the most difficult and of equal importance.
It was a game for the ages and one more to go to get to the SB. The Falcons won't be any easier than the Cowboys.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Razer's picture

January 17, 2017 at 08:24 am

I don't think many of us have a real sense of the kind of pressure Crosby faced to close out the game. I can't imagine walking onto the field with all the cheering and all the chips on the table to make those kicks. Tells you how much these guys put into their craft and performance.

Glad that Crosby is our guy. Go Packers.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Since '61's picture

January 17, 2017 at 08:25 am

Go Crosby Go! Thanks, Since '61

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
MarkinMadison's picture

January 17, 2017 at 08:49 am

Crosby made the most of his opportunities and that is all you can ask. He is a very good kicker and really turned things around in his career. But seriously, go back and look at the kick that Bailey hit for Dallas and tell me you wouldn't swap them out right now if you could.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
MarkinMadison's picture

January 17, 2017 at 09:40 am

Yeah, I figured I'd get some grief here for being a Debby-downer. But go look at those kicks. Crosby's bad year he seemed to miss everything two feet to the outside of the goalpost. At most he was two yards inside the goalpost in Dallas, and that is being generous. The line between Mason the superhero and Mason the goat is pretty thin. Bailey split it down the middle and had rare height and probably 15 yards to spare on his 50+ yard fieldgoal. I was in awe.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Since '61's picture

January 17, 2017 at 07:37 pm

Mark - they still give you 3 points whether you split the uprights or bounce it in off the crossbar. Style doesn't matter only kicking it through does. Bailey kicks off that surface at least 8 games a year. Crosby a few times every 3 years or so. Bailey may be better but Crosby going to Atlanta this week and Bailey's going home. Case closed. Thanks, Since '61

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Finwiz's picture

January 17, 2017 at 10:55 am

Oh really so now we're going to denigrate the effort because he only MADE the kick by 2 feet instead of 15? Listen, I'm a critic with the best of them, but even I can't get on board with that type of hair splitting. Would you have felt any better if the Packers won by 10 instead of 3? A wins a win, a made FG is a made FG. They don't give you an extra point for being down the middle. LOL

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
MarkinMadison's picture

January 17, 2017 at 11:28 am

Tell me you didn't poop in your pants a bit when you saw the final kick heading towards the left upright. LOL

All I'm saying is the Cowboys have a better kicker. Any Cowboys fan with a brain ought to be able to say that Rodgers is a better QB. You can appreciate perfection when you see it.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Finwiz's picture

January 17, 2017 at 11:50 am

Cowboys do not have a better kicker just because he split the uprights on one kick. Kickers are highly probable to put it down the middle inside 40 yards, but any kicker in the NFL can miss beyond 50 about 30% of the time. There are no guarantees. He's in the league 2 years and hits 89.5% (Bailey) He kicks in a dome with relatively no impact of weather. Get back to me when he's around 10 years or more. Know your facts before you start spouting off about inconsequential BS.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
MarkinMadison's picture

January 17, 2017 at 04:08 pm

"Aaron Rodgers is playing the position as well as it’s ever been played. You don’t need stats to know that. You need eyes." - Peter King

In the league two years? Who on earth are you talking about? "Know your facts...." Bailey is 24/35 from 50+ over a six year career. Crosby is 28/54. Yeah, his home games are in a semi-dome in Texas. But if you can't look at that tape and see, stats won't help you. And that was a 52-yarder where he split the uprights, not a 40 yarder.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Since '61's picture

January 17, 2017 at 07:31 pm

Mark - Bailey may or may not be a better kicker than Crosby. However, Crosby's 56 yarder is one of the best and most clutch kicks in NFL playoff history. If he misses that kick the Packers lose the game, end of story. Indoors/outdoors wherever, that is a huge FG for the Packers. He not only gives them the lead he bails out MM and the offense after they messed up the 2nd and 3rd down plays immediately prior to the FG. And who cares if a FG is down the middle or bounces in off a post as long as its good. Do you really expect any kicker to make a 56 yard FG or even the 51 yard FG down the middle on a surface he has not kicked on since 2013. The only criteria is that the kick is good who cares by how much. Do you think Bailey makes a 56 yarder at Lambeau when its 20 degrees and windy? If he does then you can have the discussion about who's better. Crosby hit a 56 yarder and 2 51 yarders back to back to back. Hasn't Crosby made 23 or 24 consecutive FGs in the post-season? what else do you want the guy to do? kick a 70 yarder. I'll take 50+ yard FGs that bounce in off the posts all day long. You don't get any more than 3 points for kicking them down the middle or off the crossbar. Thanks, Since '61

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

January 17, 2017 at 06:15 pm

Totally agree. Mason's clutch. Kicking outdoors, bad conditions, bad field, year in year out. for a lot more than a couple of seasons.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Duke Divine's picture

January 17, 2017 at 08:55 am

Makin Crosby!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Finwiz's picture

January 17, 2017 at 10:52 am

Incredible, incredible pressure on a kicker in that situation. I can't imagine doing what he did, as nervous as I was watching. Add to the degree of difficulty with the length on those kicks at 51-56 yards, and the probability of something going wrong with the swing of a foot. He's the best kicker in Packer history, and that includes Stenerud, Longwell, Marcol, Jacke or Chandler.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
4thand1's picture

January 17, 2017 at 04:37 pm

Crosby, just another that a lot of fair weather fans wanted gone. Just like, Adams, Ha Ha, Cobb, even the great Aaron Rodgers. Sure glad you chumps have no say.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
JacFrost's picture

January 18, 2017 at 03:04 pm

Super Hero? He's not a bad kicker either.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.