Looking for reasonable sources to blame 2018 on, Mason Crosby has become a commonly-talked about name in this conversation, with no real reason to be.
Going into his 13th season, all with the Green Bay Packers, Crosby has been a mainstay at the kicker position, taking over after Ryan Longwell immigrated to the dark side with the Minnesota Vikings. Ever since he left, Crosby has been a real solid cog in the Packers system.
Crosby has only had one season underneath 75.0% accuracy on his field goals, which happened in 2012, making only 63.6% of his field goals, 21 for 33. While this was definitely not a good season for him, he was able to stave off competition from the likes of Giorgio Tavecchio in the 2013 training camps, holding onto his job and the rest seems to be history.
In 2018, Crosby had a very Crosby-esque season, making 81.1% of his field goals (30-of-37) and 94.4% of his extra points (34-of-36). He ranked ninth overall in total points in 2018 with 124, which is a solid number in itself too.
In range categories, Crosby did the following:
- 20-29: 4-4
- 30-39: 10-11
- 40-49: 11-15
- 50+: 5-7 (Long of 53)
Having the vast majority of his field goal attempts come from 30 to 49 yards out is solid because it shows that the team is not struggling to punch it in the end zone from super close or a team is having issues even smelling the red zone by attempting long field goals.
This offseason, there has been more competition brought in to challenge Crosby, as the team claimed former Los Angeles Rams kicker Sam Ficken off waivers, and they also extended an invite to former Louisiana State University and current rookie kicker Cole Tracy, two unexciting names. While both have something to offer the team while being brought in to challenge Crosby, he has the upper leg in this battle and should not change.
Ficken was a solid fill-in for the Rams when Legatron, Greg Zuerlein, went down, but he had not been much of a household name prior to that situation. While the Rams did not need him due to Zuerlein’s improved health now, he has proven results in the NFL that would pose as the biggest threat to Crosby’s spot on this team.
For Tracy, he merely is being brought in as a camp body, because there is next to no chance that he earns meaningful reps in camp. While good for the former Tiger to get acclimated to the NFL scene with one of the most historic NFL franchises, Tracy should just be looking for directions to the Chicago Bears training camp instead, as they seem to be bringing in anyone who has ever kicked a football (the Bears have eight kickers in camp, as last reported).
While competition is never a bad thing, especially for kickers, Crosby is in the driver’s seat when it comes to beating out his competition for 2019. Ficken is a solid guy who could definitely push him, but Tracy is nothing more than a leg to take reps while Crosby gets a few plays off.
Barring any sort of injury or misfortune, look forward to seeing Crosby donning the Green & Gold yet again in 2019.
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23