GREEN BAY, Wis. – When you think of Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Is it his longevity? Selected in the 2007 draft, this figures to be Crosby’s 15th season with the team. Only Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, with 16 apiece, have spent more seasons in a green-and-yellow uniform.
Is it his productivity? Crosby enters this season ranked 20th in NFL history in scoring and ninth in extra points.
Is it his clutch performances? Over the last three seasons, Crosby ranks fifth in the NFL in field-goal percentage over expectation on lead-changing kicks, according to Next Gen Stats.
Or, is it the infamous game at Detroit in 2018? In a 31-23 loss to the Lions in Week 5, Crosby made 1-of-5 field-goal attempts and his only extra-point attempt.
If that’s what comes to mind, perhaps a mental reset is needed. That’s because Crosby has been absolutely incredible since that horrid performance.
“He’s basically had one bad game in all these years,” Rodgers said late last season. “I remember at the end of that game, he had missed a bunch of kicks, and we got in position, we were down two scores, and he drilled it. Obviously, we lost the game but for him to make that last kick was meaningful. One year , they bumped his salary down and tied a lot of it to incentives and, sure enough, he went out and had a hell of a season.”
Crosby finished the 2018 season by making 19-of-21 field goals and all 26 extra points. In 2019, he made 22-of-24 field goals – at the time, a career-high 91.7 percent success rate – and 40-of-41 extra points. In 2020, he made all 16 field-goal attempts and 59-of-63 extra points. Added together, over the past 43 regular-season games, Crosby has missed just nine kicks. He is 57-of-61 on field goals (93.4 percent) and 125-of-130 on extra points (96.2 percent).
Throw in four games of playoff perfection, Crosby has missed only nine kicks in his past 47 games. He is 61-of-65 on field goals (93.8 percent) and 135-of-140 on extra points (96.4 percent). That’s right: Crosby has missed four field goals the past 47 games after missing four at Detroit.
Even with the nightmare at Detroit included, Crosby ranks sixth in the NFL in field-goal percentage (minimum 50 attempts) the past three regular seasons. Eliminate that one blip on the radar, Crosby’s 93.1 percent success rate trails only Josh Lambo (95.0 percent; 57-of-60). Lambo kicks in balmy Jacksonville; Crosby kicks in not-so-balmy Green Bay.
With 1,682 points, Crosby has averaged 120 points per season. With merely 77 points in 2021, he’ll move all the way to 14th on the all-time scoring list. Only seven players in NFL history have scored 2,000 points. Crosby could reach that threshold if he plays three more seasons.
“I really have a lot of admiration and respect for him,” Rodgers said. “He’s such a great guy. Kickers, punters and snappers are the oddballs sometimes of the group, the eccentric ones at times or just maybe the nerdy ones or the guys who are just a little different because they’re so singular in their focus. I’ve always had good relationships with those guys, whether it’s Rob Davis, who was our snapper for years, Brett Goode, who still (is) a really close friend. Mason, obviously, has been around for so long, he’s been a part of so many big wins and he’s been a big part of some of those wins, thinking about some of the great kicks he’s made over the years, some of the momentum swingers that he’s been a part of. Just his consistency, it’s not like that around the league. Sometimes we might forget.
“He’s such a consistent guy. He’s a really fun guy to be around. He’s been a great Packer in the community, all the work [Crosby and his wife, Molly have] done. I hope there’s more years together. I really have enjoyed going to battle with him, and just the trust that we all have when ‘2’ takes the field just speaks to how well he’s played for us.”