Mason Crosby to Jersey Al: In Your Face!

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Mason Crosby Game Winning Field Goal Against the Giants

Mason Crosby kicked a walk-off field goal for the Packers on Sunday. It happened right in front of me, as the picture to the right (which I took) will attest.

Crosby jogged onto the field, glanced over at me in the second row, set himself, calmly hit the game-winning field goal and then turned to give me a raucous two handed middle-finger salute.

Of course, it didn’t really happen that way, but symbolically, it might as well have.

Anyone who reads this blog knows or has heard me on CheeseheadRadio should know that I haven’t been the biggest of Crosby fans. For the uninitiated, here’s a brief history of my writings on the subject of Crosby:

August 2, 2009: I call for some training camp competition for Crosby.

March 2010: I railed about Crosby doubling his salary by reaching what must have been some fluff incentives after a bad 2009 season.

March 17, 2011: I did give Crosby a B grade for the 2010 season, mainly on his performance over the Packers’ Super Bowl run.

August 4, 2011: Here I mocked Crosby a bit  for being allowed to retake a “game winning” kick in practice with no defense.

August 8, 2011: I still believe I did a very good job debunking some Crosby myths by presenting the facts as they were before this season.

I really have nothing against the guy, but his stats during the first 4 years of his career were no more than average to below-average, as compared to other NFL kickers (And don’t bother with the cold weather excuses – read the myths article).

I just have felt the need to point out  the reality of the situation when other fans would blindly state that Crosby was a very good kicker without having any facts to back it up.

But all along, I’ve never disliked the guy. In fact, I’ve heard he’s a really good guy from those who have met him. I just wanted his performance to match his compensation and his de-facto uncontested spot on the team. I’m a Packers fan. I want EVERY packers player to excel, realistic or not.

And then came the 2011 season. A very different Crosby starts out a perfect 16 for 16 on field goals and is regularly booming kickoffs into the end zone. Exploring the reasons for this dramatic turnaround won’t be explored here, as THAT  is a whole other article (cough… Slocum stopped his meddling… cough).

If I’m putting on my coaches’  hat, what I would expect from my kicker is an 80% average and the nerves of steel needed to split the uprights when the game can be won. Crosby had never hit the 80% mark in the pros, and hadn’t hit a game-winning kick since the first game of his rookie season, having gone 0-3 since then.

Well, scratch those two off my list. While the season is not yet over, it would take a horrendous collapse for Crosby to finish under 80%.

But more importantly, he won a game with his leg. A big game. An undefeated season preserving, NFC North clinching game. Right in front of me. Right in my face.

And I loved it.

 

 

 

 

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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  • Steve Cheez

    Nice tackle on that kick return, too.

    • Adam Czech

      A very nice tackle on that kick return. I think just having Al in the stadium on Sunday turned Crosby into a one man killing machine.

  • Ron LC

    OK Al, I’ll take my crow ala orange. I, too, was no Crosby fan for lo those many years. At least it felt that way. Let’s hope this new found consistency is long-lasting.

    Actually, I think MC should pick up some bonus money by leading tackling drills this week. That was an important tackle as it turned out.

  • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

    One thing I have ALWAYS given Crosby credit for is his tackling. A former safety in HS, he’s the kicker you want as your last man…

  • JimR_in_DC

    Al, this article of yours is why I love your website. Well done, Al (and the crow you ate), well done! :)

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Thanks for the kind words. However, I’m not willing to call it eating crow. If I had made a prediction and was wrong, then I would eat crow. i was just “reporting the facts” as they were before this season. So I’m letting myself off on a technicality… :)

      • JimR_in_DC

        Hahaha! Good point, Al.

  • Zach Kruse

    Sunday couldn’t have ended any better for you, Al. But I can’t imagine what you were thinking when he put that first kick to the right…

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Mu first reaction was, “well that figures…”

  • Mojo

    Although he is having a good year, I am still not convinced Crosby would hit the 45 yard game-winner if the Pack were trailing. Longwell was more reliable from that distance and in. Don’t get me wrong, the end-over-end form on Crosby’s kicks has improved but there still is that “knuckle-ball” movement on his kicks from time-to-time. I still don’t feel confident with Crosby if there were to be a long game winner, especially from the right hash.

    Also, his kickoffs are consistently shorter than the opponents. I don’t know if they scheme it that way but except for the kicks he line-drives out of the end-zone in good weather, I don’t think much of his depth on kick-offs. It seems to me the opposition kickers get about the same depth as Crosby with better hang-time. This is odd to me considering Crosby did hit a 56 yard field-goal with room to spare earlier this year.

    His onside kicking technique however is very good and produces a nice high bounce in that 10 to 15 yard area down the field.

    And he did provide one of the better special-team tackles against the Giants.

    All in all, Crosby going to have be consistent for a longer time to convince me he’s arrived. Most high-schoolers can hit a 31 yard field-goal.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Would you like to assume the “crosby-hating” title some have inaccurately given me? :)

      • Mojo

        Not a Crosby hater either Al. Just putting out there what I’ve seen. As FireMMNow states below; “I am still waiting patiently on the fence.”

        • Numby

          Crosby is 23 in league in kickoff yardage but number 7 in the number of touchbacks.

  • Art Rosen

    Of course had he converted the field goal before the half, the Packers wouldn’t have been in the situation they were in at the end of the game.

  • FireMMNow

    Crosby is fine, I too have been one of his critics. Particulary when he was given his new contract which made him one of the five highest paid kickers in the league, when he had not even sniffed that territory with his performance. He has missed two in the last two or three weeks. He will not prove anyone wrong until the crappy weather in the playoffs start. That is where the “real” top kickers set themselves apart and earn their money. If he makes a game winning kick from distance in the playoffs I will say that he has earned every penny that was paid, until then, I am still waiting patiently on the fence.

  • http://www.wcoffensive.blogspot.com Tom Freeman

    Nice, Al, and I figured you would be there for the game. We all can change our minds as the facts change. The guy right above me in the comments is “FireMMNow.” I assume he no longer wants to have McCarthy fired. I was not always a big fan of Ted Thompson, but he has certainly proven me wrong.

  • http://none GalaxyM81

    The most important position on a football team is the QB, but the next most important position is your kicker. Why? He puts points on the board. With that said, the need for a great kicker is almost the same as the need of a great QB.

    Fortunately, I think GB has both. In all fairness, Crosby did miss an earlier field goal at the end of the first half, which if he had made that. The giants would have needed TWO scores at the end of the game. Therefore, Rodgers game winning drive would have not been needed. But, I will take a win anyway we can get it. I am glad to see just how good A-Rod was on that two minute drill, just AWESOME!!!

  • Shavager

    I’m hoping Crosby hitting 16 straight didn’t give him confidence he could just go in kick and it’s good, he still needs FOCUS. He missed in the Lions game with a kick that he should’ve made easily-same with the Giants game. Hope his concentration and focus sharpens in each game, the way this defense plays, Crosby may be called on to win or lose a playoff or SB game. His tackling is better than some Packers defenders have been doing, maybe he needs to give tackling tips to some.