Source: AP Photo/Paul Sancya
It must be hard to be a kicker. They get zero respect from everyone. So many fans think that just because they kick a ball they’re not football players. They're heroes when they hit game-winning field goal but scapegoats if they miss a crucial kick. You can say being a water boy gets more love than an NFL kicker.
In the first five weeks of this still young football season, kickers are costing their teams badly. Coming into week 5 there are 6 teams that are hitting under 70%, and 3 under 60% when attempting field goals, extra points haven’t been perfect either. Ten teams entering week 5 had missed either one or more extra point kick this season. Kicking extra points haven’t been as automatic as it used to be since the NFL changed its kicking rule back in 2015. In some instances going for 2 points might be a better a choice for teams.
Sunday marked the day Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby joined the terrible kickers club. Coming into week 5 he was almost near perfect making 10 field goals out of 11 tries. The only miss came in week 2 were Crosby made the gaming winning 52-yard field goal. Wait, so how was that a miss you ask? The Vikings iced Crosby calling a timeout before the snap. Next play and we’re going to overtime because Crosby’s missed the redo. That same game ex-Viking rookie kicker Daniel Carlson went 0-3 including missing two game-winning kicks in overtime. The game ended in a tie and neither team looked happy about it. The next day Carlson would pack his bags and head home as he got replaced by veteran kicker Dan Bailey. A player who’s the second most accurate kicker in NFL history, hitting an astonishing 88.2 percent. Remember another rookie kicker by the name of Zane Gonzalez? Browns fans don’t want to remember as Week 2 wasn’t a good week for the rookie either. Gonzalez went 2-4 and missed two extra points. Gonzalez missed a potential game-tying field goal with 8 seconds left against the Saints. The Browns lost 21-18 and Gonzalez was cut the next day just like Carlson.
But Sunday against the Lions wasn’t Crosby’s day either in which he added another brutal afternoon to his resume. The first attempt he missed was a 41 yarder wide left, should have made it but it’s just one, Crosby will bounce back. Now down 17-0 Crosby has another opportunity, a 42-yarder to put the Packers on the scoreboard. The kick is up and it hits the right goal post and out. So now he’s 0-2 and I’m getting a little ticked off. It was the first time Crosby missed multiple kicks since week 10 against The Philadelphia Eagles back in 2013. The Packers lost the game. Back to Crosby. The Packers still trailing 17-0 to Detroit as he gets another chance to score before halftime. A 38-yard kick and it's no good! Already the Packers should have had 9 points and be within a touchdown and a two-point conversion to tie the game. At that moment I banged my head on the floor shaking my head. By the end of the first half, the Detroit Lions scored a late touchdown. Down 24-0 at the half, Crosby would miss his 4th field of the game with 2:13 remaining. Crosby would finally make one but the game was done. Crosby also missed an extra point kick. Giving him a dreadful 1-5 with a missed extra point. Crosby has only missed an average of 4 field goals in the last three seasons and now has missed 5 kicks through 5 weeks. Scary stuff.
But Don’t worry Packer fans Crosby should be back to himself next week against the 49ers on Monday Night Football. This performance shouldn’t shake the 12-year veteran, or Green Bay's faith in him...for now.