Tag Archives: Mason Crosby

How Will New PAT Rules Affect the Green Bay Packers?

Packers kicker Mason Crosby

After the NFL announced changes to the rules regarding PATs, the Green Bay Packers, like the rest of the league, will have to develop new strategies on what they should do after scoring a touchdown.

Kicking an extra point has almost always been what teams choose to do. In 2014, there were 1230 attempted extra points, as opposed to just 59 two-point conversions. When kickers were making extra points with a 99 percent success rate, the decision was never that hard to make.

But now, coaches will have a slightly more difficult time choosing whether or not to go for two. Extra points will now be 33 yards long. Over the last ten seasons, that field goal has been converted just under 92 percent of the time.

Packers kicker Mason Crosby is the obvious answer for the Green Bay player who will be most affected by the rule change. Over the course of his eight-year career, Crosby has converted 99 percent of his extra point attempts, missing just four. But when a field goal is between 30 and 39 yards, his career average is at just 87 percent.

While that number does not completely reflect how Crosby will fare with the new PATs (as some of his misses came from 34-39 yards, which is further than the new extra point), it is reasonable to expect that he will miss more PATs than in the past. The five blocked kicks in 2014, including two blocked extra points, could also be concerning if the Packers do not address that issue in the upcoming season.


20 Questions About the 2014 Green Bay Packers

green bay packers helmets

This is the worst time of the year for Green Bay Packers fans.

The return of football is so close. So very, very close. Less than a month away until the team takes the field for Training Camp at Nitschke Field. Yet it seems so far away.

Time just seems to stand still during this dead time of the football calendar year. Every day is one day closer to football, but it sure does not seem like it.

Because the days seem to go slower during these dog days of Summer, this allows for ample time to think about the upcoming season, and ask plenty of questions about it.

Why spend time asking questions about the season? Because they need to be asked. As much as everyone may want to believe that the Packers are prepared to go undefeated, scoring an infinite number of points while allowing zero in the process, and culminating in a Super Bowl victory, this is just not the case. The Packers have on paper made improvements, but there are still plenty of questions surrounding this team.

Optimism is high, but it does not mean that the questions should not be asked.

Here are just a few of the questions that I have thought about in the past week about the 2014 Packers:


  • Will Eddie Lacy continue to be a force on offense, or will a healthy Aaron Rodgers shift the focus on offense back to the passing game?

Special Teams An Area To Improve


One overlooked aspect of the 2013 Green Bay Packers was how poor the special teams were. Other than Mason Crosby converting 89.2 percent of his field goals–which still didn’t put him in the top 10 in the NFL in accuracy–the Packers were brutal on special teams last year.

Special teams may not be worried about at this time of year, but it is always a key decider of NFL games. Field goals are converted at such a high rate these days that missing any is killer. The return game is so important because obviously the better field position you have the better chance you have of scoring. Field position and turnovers are often the most important factors in the NFL.

Green Bay’s return game suffered last season with the injury to Randall Cobb and release of Jeremy Ross. Micah Hyde took over the primary return duties for Cobb and was just nothing special. He did a good job of protecting the ball and had a nice 12.3 yard average on punt returns, but was unspectacular on kickoff returns.

The Packers ranked 30th in the NFL in kickoff return average last season, as they averaged 20.3 yards per return. According to Football Outsiders, the Packers average starting field position was the 22.64 yard line following a kickoff, which ranked 11th in the NFL.


Ted Thompson Is Not Cheap

Ted Thompson

This is the time of year when many Green Bay Packers fans get out their pitchforks for general manager Ted Thompson.

If and when Thompson doesn’t sign an expensive free agent later today you will hear all the Thompson haters come out of their caves. The annual cries that he is cheap, arrogant and does not care about winning will fill your Twitter timeline.

Of course, none of that is remotely true. Thompson is far from a cheap general manager–he just doesn’t spend the money on the players who that particular crowd wants him too.

How can a cheap general manager make Aaron Rodgers the highest paid quarterback and Clay Matthews the highest paid outside linebacker in the same offseason? I can pretty much guarantee that those two players will do more for the Packers than any free agent they could have signed last offseason.

Former Packers Vice President of Player Finance Andrew Brandt tweeted that the Packers were 2nd in the NFL last season in cash spent. Thompson is just more comfortable spending that money on players that he drafted and is familiar with. He is willing to spend money when he sees a value, but he never sees that value in the first day of free agency when other teams are going crazy.


Individual Awards For the 2013 Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers helmet

As a way of wrapping up the 2013 season, the Packers Talk Radio Network writers want to hand out some individual awards to the top performers on this team.


Most Valuable Player

Cory Jennerjohn: This is going to sound strange, but I the best player from an up-and-down season is kicker Mason Crosby. He hit on 89 percent of his field goal attempts this year and only had one game where he missed more than one. He had over a 25 percent turnaround from last year, which deserves to be recognized.

John Rehor: David Bakhtiari deserves a ton of credit for stepping in for an injured Bryan Bulaga as a rookie. He admirably protected the blind sides of four different quarterbacks this season, allowing the passing game to continue to exist. He also opened up running lanes for Eddie Lacy and company. This season could have been much, MUCH worse if he had not played like a veteran as a rookie, forced into action. 

Ross Uglem: Never has Aaron Rodgers value been more clear to this team.  The team was a very impressive 6-2 with Rodgers starting and finishing games, with their only losses coming to playoff teams on the road.  It was an abysmal 2-5-1 without him.


Rookie of the Year

CJ: This should be obvious. When the Offensive Rookie of the Year resides on your team, this is automatic. Eddie Lacy wowed everyone by not just playing hard like most rookies out of Alabama, but he did it with a chip on his shoulder as the fourth running back selected.


More Focus Should be Given To Shawn Slocum & The Special Teams

shawn slocum

As the final seconds ticked away on the game clock, all Packers could do was stand by and watch the 49ers end their season-again.

It was as much disappointing as much as it was frustrating, seeing the Packers fall short yet again the playoffs, again at the hands of their rivals to the West.

As soon as the game ended, armchair GMs began proposing their ideas about what needs to happen in order to make the Packers a Super Bowl contender again, instead of just a one and done in the playoffs as they have been three out of the past five seasons.

The most common clamor has been “Fire Dom Capers.”

Calling for the removal of Capers is warranted. Statistically, the Packers defense has deteriorated in the five seasons Capers has been in charge. But if Capers were to be replaced, the question becomes by who?

The list of potential candidates is both unimpressive and underwhelming, so odds are Capers is staying put.

While everyone is quick to jump on Capers for his coaching, there is another coach on the Packers staff who deserves equal-if not more-criticism than Capers.

Since being named Special Teams Coordinator in 2009, Shawn Slocum and his Special Teams have done little to separate themselves from being just another group in the NFL.

2013 was no different.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the unofficial ranker of NFL Special Teams, Green Bay finished 20th in the league in Special Teams this past season.


Mason Crosby deserves praise not poo-pooing

Mason Crosby was 5 for 5 on field goals vs. Detroit. He is 4-4 from 40+ yards this season.

Mason Crosby was 5-5 on field goals vs. Detroit. He is 4-4 from 40+ yards this season.


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.