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Packers PK Mason Crosby melts down in 31-23 loss to Lions

October 8, 2018

Mason Crosby became the first kicker since Dan Carpenter with the Miami Dolphins in 2010 to miss at least four field goals in a game, as the Green Bay Packers fell on the road to the Detroit Lions, 31-23.

Crosby, who entered Sunday 10-of-11 on FG attempts, also missed his first PAT, putting him in even more dubiously rarified air. Crosby’s five combined missed kicks are believed to be the most in a game since at least 1950.

Following Crosby’s final miss, a 56-yarder that would’ve cut a 24-point halftime deficit to eight points with just under four minutes remaining, the FOX broadcast showed him being consoled by Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, his longest-tenured teammate.

A career 80.6-percent kicker, Crosby had a difficult 2017 campaign, converting only 15-of-19 (78.9 percent) attempts and missing two PATs. Would the Packers, who fell to 2-2-1, consider making a change? Although not as unlikely as Crosby’s performance Sunday, we wouldn’t count on it. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy sent Crosby out to connect on a 41-yarder with less than 10 seconds remaining, perhaps a chance to rebuild some confidence.

Back in 2012, Crosby missed two of his three FG tries inside at Ford Field and was mired in a horrible slump, missing 7-of-13 attempts in a six-game span. There was talk the Packers could dump Crosby then, but McCarthy stuck with him. Crosby is now 14-of-21 on FG attempts in the dome in Detroit.

Although Crosby is the obvious goat for leaving 13 points on the field in a eight-point defeat, it’s worth noting that Aaron Rodgers wasn’t particularly sharp early despite finishing the afternoon with a flourish to total 442 yards and three touchdowns. He fumbled twice and didn’t see several open receivers in the first half, when Green Bay dug a 24-0 hole despite not punting on any of its six possessions.

On the other side, Matthew Stafford was fairly sharp in tossing touchdowns to Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay, Detroit’s emerging star who delivered a vicious stiff arm to Ha Ha Clinton-Dix near the end of a 60-yard second-quarter completion. LeGarrette Blount, who continues to split work with impressive rookie Kerryon Johnson, scored his first two touchdowns with the Lions, both on goal-line plunges.

Working without his injured No. 2 and 3 receivers (Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison), Rodgers absorbed four sacks and just didn’t appear to have as much trust in rookies Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scandling, who caught his first career touchdown and nearly had a second but was ruled down at the 1-yard line.

The Lions improved to 2-3 and 2-1 at home, where they’ve upset the New England Patriots and Packers since getting trashed by the New York Jets in the opener. Johnson and fellow rookie Frank Ragnow continue to impress, and a defense still missing Ezekiel Ansah received some strong play from LB Jarrad Davis (eight tackles, two PD), who was beat in coverage by Ezekiel Elliott on the decisive fourth-quarter play in last week’s loss.

The Packers host C.J. Beathard’s San Francisco 49ers on “Monday Night Football” in Week 6, while the Lions enter the bye week with some confidence after beating the Packers in a game Rodgers starts and finishes at Ford Field for only the second time.

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