Mike McCarthy Still Believes in Mason Crosby After 5 Missed Kicks vs. Lions

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2018

Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby stands in the bench area after missing a field goal during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy isn't ready to give up on kicker Mason Crosby after he missed five kicks in a 31-23 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.   

According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, McCarthy said Monday he still believes in Crosby. However, McCarthy added the 12-year veteran needs to improve.

"He's got to make those kicks," he said, per ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky. "He's a proven highly successful kicker, and I believe in him, but he's got to make those kicks. It's a different game at halftime (if he makes those three first-half) kicks."

There's plenty of blame to go around for a loss in which Green Bay outgained Detroit 521-264. The Packers lost three fumbles and were only 3-of-10 on third downs.

Granted, Crosby's four missed field goals and missed extra point could have been the difference-maker in the eight-point loss as well. 

NFL coaches and general managers haven't hesitated to part ways with inconsistent kickers in recent years. 

Roberto Aguayo, a second-round pick in 2016, has already signed with four different teams in his young NFL career. Rookie Daniel Carlson and Zane Gonzalez both lost their jobs shortly after they had disastrous games in Week 2. Carlson was 0-of-3 for the Minnesota Vikings in a 29-29 tie with the Packers, and Gonzalez was 2-of-4 and missed two extra points in a 21-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Crosby has spent more than a decade with the Packers, which gives him a longer leash than Aguayo, Carlson and Gonzalez. He was 10-of-11 on field goals entering Sunday, so he wasn't showing any noticeable decline this season.

The Packers play the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night before their bye in Week 7. Green Bay might as well stick with Crosby to see if Sunday was an anomaly.

If he continues to struggle, the Packers can go in a different direction after the 49ers game. They would have an extra week to get a new kicker ready for their critical Week 8 game against the Los Angeles Rams.

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