Lost amid the R-E-L-A-X three-game winning streak is the comfort of a consist kicker.
Last year Mason Crosby enjoyed the best season as a pro by nailing over 89 percent of his field goals. And now in his eighth year, many people didn’t expect an encore performance.
Just don’t tell Crosby that.
The 30-year-old is 8 for 9 with the only miss coming on a blocked 38-yarder at Chicago.
This is the same guy that wilted into a 2012 slump by hitting a career-worst 64 percent of his kicks and was also just 2 for 9 from 50-plus yards. Soon his right leg came into question. Does he still have the leg strength? Can the Packers count on him in late-game situations for a long field goal with the game hanging in the balance?
Well, Crosby has quickly answered that. In the last year-and-a-half, he is 7 of 9 in the 50-yard range including 2 for 2 this year. Crosby is one of five kickers in the league with at least two attempts from over 50 yards that’s perfect.
This era of the NFL is considered the age of the quarterback with all of the rules designed to aid the passing game. But amazingly this season, kickers are converting 50-yard field goals at a higher rate than quarterbacks are completing passes.
It’s easy to take punters and kickers for granted. They are on the field in limited stretches, but when they make a mistake it gets highlighted even more. A shanked punt gives the opposing offense excellent field position. A late missed field goal means that a victory is out of reach.
Crosby might be one of the more underrated kickers in a league that has star appeal in guys like Adam Vinatieri, Nick Novak and Stephen Gostkowski.
But he’s perfect for the Packers. He is really honing in his accuracy and his 55-yarder is tied for the fourth-longest field goal this season.
Field goal kickers generally perceived as a team’s offensive failure. But they become even more integral when the weather turns and they can boot kicks through snow, sleet and high winds.
In other woods, a perfect late-season recipe for Crosby.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn