I can understand the flak that Mason Crosby took last season.
He was only 21 for 33, good for a 64 percent field goal rate — his lowest field goal percentage in his six-year career. To make matters worse, he was just 2 of 9 on field goals from 50-plus yards.
Fans screamed for his job to end. They wanted a replacement for a guy that was obviously struggling to figure out something that he has done his entire life. Somehow, he remained positive throughout the season last year and came into training camp with something to prove.
The Packers brought in not one but two kickers to compete with Crosby and the golf and cooking aficionado blew both out of the water.
Fast forward to Sunday. After Crosby tied the franchise record for field goals with a 5 for 5 performance, he was still getting criticized. Amazingly, fans were heard on Sunday screaming, “It’s about time Crosby” or my personal favorite, “Must be nice to kick in nice weather.
Crosby hasn’t missed a field goal all season and has made 13 straight field goals for the sixth-longest streak in Packers history.
Come on. Leave the guy alone. He has made plenty of great kicks and despite his struggles last year, he still maintains a career field goal percentage of 78. That’s not bad.
Yet, many and fans and experts are quick to pile on a guy even when he’s doing well.
Is Crosby the best kicker in the NFL? Probably not. But he was good enough to beat the Lions by himself and extend the Packers’ winning streak in the state of Wisconsin to 23 games.
Think about that for a second. When was the last time in this Aaron Rodgers era that a kicker has ever been mentioned as the team’s MVP for a particuclar week? I’ll save you some time: nobody.
Crosby obviously realized that he needed to change something. He showed his loyalty to Green Bay after agreeing to a pay cut this year after he drops his salary from $2.4 million to $800,000.
Crosby is an important piece in the Packers’ playoff plans and with Green Bay forced to play 12-straight to close out the season, it’s imperative that he plays well to pick up an offense that looked like it had sand its gas tank on Sunday.
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn