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RandBall: Will Packers' sticking with kicker Crosby cost them?

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • December 18, 2012 - 2:52 PM

 

The Packers have an organizational philosophy. We get that. Even across the border, we can respect that. They draft and develop. They stick with their guys. And they don't tend to make rash decisions that have future salary cap implications.

 

All that said -- and we say this as someone who would clearly like to see the Packers lose an important game because of something like a field goal -- isn't it time to make a late-season switch and dump Mason Crosby?

He is 17 for 29 this season after missing two more field goals on Sunday against the Bears. He has missed at least one field goal in eight consecutive games. And yet this is the party line coming out of Green Bay:

"Mason Crosby is an accountable man. He needs to perform better," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "I'm disappointed in the way he performed yesterday. There's more that goes into it as far as when you evaluate players and everything around each player at their position. So, at the end of the day, Mason will be our kicker and that's my focus."

Every other kicker in the league with enough qualifying attempts has made at least 70 percent of his kicks. Twenty-five of them have made at least 80 percent. Crosby is at 58.6. You can argue that 7 of his 12 misses have come from the more difficult 50-plus range, where he is an abysmal 1 for 8. But guess what? Good kickers make quite a few of those kicks these days. Vikings rookie Blair Walsh is 8 for 8 from that distance!

Kickers go through slumps. All players do. But if you are the coach of a 10-4 team that is playoff-bound, can you really afford to ride this one out? We think not.

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