When Green Bay Packers placekicker Mason Crosby signed a new 5-year contract with the team back at the end of July, it came with some trepidation on the part of fans. Many people questioned the value of his brand new raise, while some criticized the re-signing all together. Throughout the first five games of the season, however, Crosby has performed to near perfection.
With Sunday night’s game against Atlanta in the books, Mason Crosby is now 9-for-9 on the year in field goal attempts and 20-for-20 in extra points, giving him a total of 47 points scored. For some comparison, he was only 7-for-10 in field goals after five games last year, and he is currently on par to break his personal best 141 points scored in his 2007 rookie season.
Crosby’s 56-yard field goal also ties his (and the franchise) record for longest completion, going back to the 2010 opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Packers kicker has been under some intense scrutiny the past few years, though. Our own “Jersey” Al Bracco has written on this topic numerous times, but his most recent post – made just after Crosby signed his new contract – really broke through the misconceptions about his abilities.
In short, the numbers proved he has been an average kicker at best.
With such a strong start to his season, could we finally be seeing the Mason Crosby we’ve wanted and waited for? Yes, there are many more games to be played and plenty of field goals to be attempted in the coming weeks; still, it’s hard not to get excited.
Crosby owes part of his success to the offense being able to get close to the endzone.
Of his nine field goal attempts, two have been less than 30 yards, six have been between 30 and 40 yards, and only one has been from more than 50 yards out. In addition to this, he wasn’t even called on to attempt a field goal in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints or in Week 4 against the Denver Broncos.
Finally, I would be remiss to leave out the job Mason Crosby has done on kickoffs.
While I don’t have a lot of stats to present, his game against the Falcons on Sunday made it perfectly clear that he can kick the ball out of the endzone with consistency (at least in a dome). Only once out of seven times were the Falcons able to return the ball on a kickoff. And in previous games, Crosby has shown a nice ability to put the ball far to one side of the endzone and force touchbacks that way.
Against the Broncos, he also showcased his perfection of the onside kick. While Crosby made a few of those last season, it’s clear the Packers have faith in his ability to make the play at any moment.
As I said before, there is a lot of season left ahead of Mason Crosby, but so far we can’t ask for much better. He is clearly earning every penny of his new contract, and if he keeps up this rate of success, he will put many doubts to rest.——————Follow @ChadToporski