The Green Bay Packers are sticking with the 12th-year veteran, the team’s franchise scoring leader.
During Sunday’s 31-23 loss at Detroit, Crosby became the first kicker to miss four field goals and an extra point in the same game since the Raiders’ Cole Ford in 1997, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Crosby missed three field goals in the first half alone. After a change of cleats, he missed another in the second half plus an extra point before he made a 41-yarder with 2 seconds left. Crosby’s misses were from 41 yards (wide left), 42 (off the right upright), 38 wide right and 56 (wide right). His missed PAT hit off the left upright.
“He’s a proven, highly successful kicker,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “I still believe in him. But he knows it — he has to make those kicks. It’s a different game at halftime. So hopefully we’ll learn from it and move on.”
There did not appear to be any issues with the snaps or holds, though Crosby has been working with a rookie snapper (seventh-round pick Hunter Bradley) and a rookie holder (fifth-round pick JK Scott, the punter) this season.
A career 79.8 percent kicker on field goals, Crosby had made 10 of his previous 11 attempts this season. He holds the NFL postseason record for most consecutive field goals made with 23 (from 2010 to 2016).
“We have a long-term obviously belief, but you’ve got your everyday evaluation that goes on, too,” McCarthy said. “I think he had a tremendous training camp, I think he was striking the ball as well as I can recall. He has a new operation again. I mean, you’re talking about a kicker who’s been through more operation changes than I can recall in my time in the league, and he’s an extraordinary leader with those two young guys. So there’s definitely a little bit of a growing curve there that I think it was obvious we’re going to have work through, when the roster was established.
“But at the end of the day, it’s about results and we know we need to be better and we need to make those kicks.”
Crosby came back from a career-worst year in 2012, when he made a league-low 63.6 percent of his field goals. He has been better than 81 percent on field goals in all but one season since then.
“Mason is one of the most mentally tough people I know, and I have all the confidence in the world that we’re going to bounce back as a unit and get right back to our rhythm,” Scott said Monday. “I just want to be there for him any way I can as his teammate and as his brother because I love him, he’s a great dude, he’s kind of taken me under his wing in more ways than just being a football player. I just want to be there for him and encourage him any way I can and just remind him of the simplicity of what we do. It’s really simple and we should be good.”
Crosby on Sunday called his performance “an anomaly.”
Kicking woes weren’t the only issues for the Packers a day after their loss to the Lions.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ left knee injury remains an issue. He said he wore a lighter brace against the Lions and hoped he could eventually move toward playing without one, but instead said after the game he was more sore — something he chalked up to a hit from linebacker Christian Jones he took on the first series.
Despite throwing for 442 yards and three touchdowns, Rodgers was off target early in the game and lost a pair of fumbles on sacks — the first time he’s had two lost fumbles in a game since 2015.
“Well, I mean, he’s not going to make excuses, and I’m not going to stand up here and go that route because he’s playing through a lot,” McCarthy said. “I mean, he’s playing through a lot going into the game and he played through a lot in the game. I think what he’s given us is more than — I don’t want to say more than we expected. He’s given us a lot, and that’s the reality of it. But he’s playing through a lot.”
When asked if Rodgers has something wrong besides the knee, McCarthy said: “Once again, the specifics of everything in the medical is what it is, it’s specific to the individual, but I appreciate what he’s fighting through.”