Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby looks more like his old reliable self with three made field goals vs. the Rams
GREEN BAY - After three weeks of tense moments and close games marked by special teams blunders, the Green Bay Packers saw positive production out of their unit, specifically kicker Mason Crosby, in a 36-28 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
Crosby and the field goal unit, and for that matter the entire special teams unit, have notably struggled in recent weeks. A six-point loss to the Kansas City Chiefs featured two missed field goals and a muffed punt. A missed field goal stood out last week in a three-point loss to the Minnesota Vikings. And it’s been no secret the longtime vet has still been looking for chemistry with his new snapper and holder duo.
After the Packers took over on downs on the Rams 29-yard line early in the second quarter, Crosby helped out a stalled offense, knocking through a 45-yarder to put the Packers ahead 10-0. On the next offensive drive, he did it again, this time with a chip shot 28-yarder.
Versus the Vikings, Crosby hit a long 54-yarder then missed a short try, so his successful attempts from different areas of the field were in and of itself a step forward. Twice, the Packers stalled in the red zone, but Crosby was able to put points on the board. As quarterback Aaron Rodgers said after the game, while failing to score in the red zone can be concerning, there is a sense of relief to see Crosby come through again in the area.
“Proud of Mase making those kicks early,” Rodgers said. “Those are important ones for us even though, you know, we had opportunities to stretch it to two and three score gains. Those are those are important moments for us.”
BOX SCORE:Packers 36, Rams 28
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Crosby missed a 42-yarder, late in the fourth quarter, and skirted one of his makes just inside the upright. But unlike past weeks, this game didn’t become a loss that could be pinned on a floundering field goal unit. Instead, he provided a nine-point lift in what would become an eight-point win.
The weather was a factor on Sunday night, with winds kicking and bouncing off of the bowl. Rodgers praised Crosby for returning to form as one of the best cold weather kickers he’s ever seen.
“I've always said two of the best kickers that I've seen over the years are Mason Crosby and Robbie Gould because of the the conditions those guys have had to kick with…as far as clutch goes, those are two of the clutchest kickers I’ve ever seen,” Rodgers said.
Beyond Crosby, the special teams unit as a whole had arguably one their more productive games in weeks. Three Los Angeles drives started at the 15-yard line or worse, with one beginning at the 1-yard line. There would have been another, but the Rams committed a penalty, giving the Packers a first down instead, taking the punt try off the board.
As the Packers march towards a postseason run, it will require trust in all three phases of the game. The special teams unit has been the biggest question mark thus far, with hopes that Crosby and the group would figure things out before the problem became detrimental. Sunday night versus the Rams provided some relief that Crosby and those around him were on their way to being a unit on whom the Packers could once again rely.
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