Mason Crosby has a good NFL track record.
The Packers kicker hit at least 75 percent of his field-goal attempts in each of his first five seasons. Last season he hit at an 85.7 percent clip, a career-best.
There was no reason to believe he'd become one of the Packers' biggest problems this season.
But the kicker from Colorado has come down with a serious case of the yips. The Packers overcame his two misses when Aaron Rodgers led a go-ahead drive, capped off by a nice pass-and-catch to Randall Cobb late in the fourth quarter. Crosby kicked a 39-yard field goal in the final minute for insurance points in the 24-20 win, but the Packers had to be nervous sending him out for it.
Crosby missed a field goal wide right in the first half, but Detroit had called a timeout right before the snap to ice him. After the timeout, with a second chance, Crosby missed wide left.
In the fourth quarter, Crosby missed a 38-yarder with a chance to tie the game. That was his seventh miss in his last 12 tries, an astonishing slump for a kicker that hasn't missed more than nine field goals in a season before. That short miss even prompted Packers coach Mike McCarthy to meet him coming off the field to have a stern talk. It also prompted Greg Jennings to clown around with Crosby on the sideline, softly punching him in the side until he got a smile out of the slumping kicker. Anything to get Crosby's mind off his shaky kicking.
Crosby has proven he is a good NFL kicker, and maybe his short field goal late in the game will get him back on track. The Packers need to hope so, because right now they're entering a playoff push with a kicker that can't seem to get his head or his kicks straight.
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