Can Mason Crosby Cure His Slump Before It Costs the Packers a Game?
FACT: The Green Bay Packers have won five straight games.
FACT: In those five games, kicker Mason Crosby has made only six of 11 field goal attempts.
FACT: Crosby’s mid-season slump has not cost the Packers a game.
Sports talk radio and social media has been abuzz with speculation about the Packers possibly dropping kicker Mason Crosby (the Packers' kicker since 2007) and replacing him with someone else. But those opposed to such a move point out that a quality replacement is not out there in the open market. The reality, however, is that Crosby’s slump has not caused the Pack to lose a game...yet!
But Packer Nation is not concerned about what hasn’t happened in the last five games; they are more concerned that if Crosby doesn’t get his mechanics fixed, or if his mental approach doesn’t change, there may come a game in the next six weeks where a Crosby missed field goal will cost the team a game (or worse yet, a playoff spot).
So let’s look at a few stats for Mr. Crosby.
First, Crosby is one of only three Packers kickers to make 140 or more field goals with the Packers (Ryan Longwell, 226; Chris Jacke, 173). He is also one of 85 kickers in NFL history to have made 140-plus FGs in a career. Of those 85, Crosby has the 38th best field goal percentage, making 77.6 percent of his field goal attempts.
The bottom line: Crosby has been a high quality NFL kicker. Unfortunately, the reality is that he is going through a slump.
But here’s a few more statistical looks at Crosby’s career:
* Last Sunday was the seventh game of Crosby’s 97 with the Packers that he missed two or more FG attempts. The Packers have a 4-3 record in games where Crosby missed two or more field goals. In fact, if you look at Packers kickers who have attempted field goals since 1966 (start of the Super Bowl era), there have been 70 games where the Packers kicker missed two or more FG attempts. The Pack are 35-30-5 in those games. So, missing two or more field goal attempts in a game hasn’t been a big detriment to the Pack’s win-loss column in their history.
* Crosby has missed two or more in 7.2 percent of his games. The Packers team average is about 10.8 percent since 1966. Only three Packers kickers have a lower percentage of games where they missed two or more field goals (minimum of 30 games kicked for the Packers): Jan Stenerud (only 2.8 percent of his 46 games), Ryan Longwell (5.1 percent of his 137 games) and Chris Jacke (7.0 percent of his 114 games).
* Crosby has missed one or more field goal attempts in 36 games (regular season and playoffs) with the Packers. The Pack are 25-11 in those games. There have been seven games in which Crosby missed one or more field goals where the Packers lost by three or fewer points.
Coach Mike McCarthy has already stated that the team will be staying with Crosby as its kicker. We can only hope that Crosby makes the proper physical or mental adjustments to get himself back on track. He has been a quality kicker for almost six seasons with the Packers, and one of the best kickers in the league during that time. Let’s hope this is only a blip on the screen and not a major issue.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
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