Why they won: Green Bay Packers overpowers Minnesota
By Kenn Korb
Nov 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Green Bay Packers kickerMason Crosby
(2) kicks a 40 yard filed goal as punterTim Masthay
(8) holds against the Minnesota Vikings in the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Kick to victory
This hasn’t been a great season for Crosby, but that’s through no fault of his own; most of this season, he just hasn’t gotten much work.
He had only gotten to kick a measly 14 field goals (12 makes) on the year coming into Sunday, with the offense struggling mightily to move the ball most weeks. On top of that, the times they had moved the ball it just so happened they either ended up with a touchdown (23/23 XPs before Sunday; 7th-most in the league) or no score in most of their attempted drives.
Then last week we see Crosby actually get the chance for a meaningful impact play, with a potential game-winning kick to save the team from their first loss to Detroit at home since 1991. Of course, he botched it so badly that it appeared to be blocked.
He more than made up for that this week.
Crosby got to kick five field goals on the day, and he made all of them. The first three were important in giving Green Bay some early points when the offense couldn’t finish the job, letting them hold on while enough of a rhythm was manufactured to capitalized on mistakes by Minnesota to allow them to jump up 16-6 at halftime. The final one helped make sure things were out of reach from an unlikely-but-possible comeback attempt.
Beyond just the field goals, Crosby also made his lone extra point attempt and added a couple touchbacks. He also was involved in a penalty play after a kickoff return, where Cordarrelle Patterson headbutted him for looking at him after a decent return; that gave back 15 yards to Green Bay.
Others may have better name recognition or play a more glamorous position, but make no mistake: the biggest hero of the game has to be Crosby.