Why the Packers must keep Mason Crosby in 2022

Green Bay Packers, Mason Crosby - Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers, Mason Crosby - Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

Fifteen years. That is how long Mason Crosby has been kicking for the Green Bay Packers.

He is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. He is 16th all-time in field goals made and has the second-most among active players. He is fourth all-time for playoff points. How many clutch kicks has he made over the years?

Remember his not just one but two go-ahead kicks versus the Dallas Cowboys in the 2017 Divisional Round? Remember his electric, game-winning 51-yard field goal in San Francisco in Week 3 this past season? What about him beating the Detroit Lions twice in 2019 on game-winning kicks?

Mason Crosby has been a cornerstone of the Green Bay Packers franchise for years. If there is any question that he should or shouldn’t be on the team next season, it needs to be put to bed immediately.

Sure, there have been some frustrating moments. The 2012 season was a bit of rough patch. Crosby had a case of the yips as he had a career-worst 12 missed kicks. Before his game-winning kick in Cincinnati in Week 5, he missed three consecutive kicks beforehand. He had a key kick versus San Francisco blocked in the Divisional Round this past postseason.

The 2021 regular season was not Crosby’s best. He missed nine kicks. Some of these kicks were straight misses. Some were on the operation, which means it was either a poor snap or a bad hold. That was actually a common theme this season considering Green Bay had the worst special teams unit in the league.

Some were due to Crosby’s low-hanging drive that allows him to get more distance on the kick. The former Colorado Buffalo will be turning 38 this September. Age and inconsistency can definitely put fear into teams who are ready to win right now.

With all of that said, give me Crosby everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. The Packers are not winning 13 games each of the last three years without No. 2. Heck, they are not a top five team consistently over the last 15 years without him.

Remember what happened to the Chicago Bears after they got rid of Robbie Gould? It took them years to find another kicker, and that issue caused them to lose a playoff game in which the phrase “double-doink” became forever infamous.

Look what happened to the Dallas Cowboys after they released one of the most accurate kickers in history in Dan Bailey. It took them a few years to land Greg Zuerlein, who still is a little inconsistent.

Finding a consistent kicker is just as hard as finding a franchise QB. It might be easy to survive an inconsistent kicker for a few weeks or even a season, especially if you have great players everywhere else, but it is extremely difficult to win a Super Bowl with inconsistency at one of the most important positions in the game.

If your kicker starts missing kicks, coaches are more open to going for it on a fourth-and-10 on your opponent’s 25-yard line, which is not an easy proposition in the NFL.

Mason Crosby is a Super Bowl-winning kicker. He will be a Packers Hall-of-Famer. He knows how to kick better than anyone at Lambeau Field, arguably the toughest stadium to kick in. His leg still has the firepower to blast field goals from 50+ yards away. His low-hanging, knuckleball style has proven to be quite effective in his career.

The hiring of Rich Bisaccia as special teams coach will certainly help fix the operation problems. Imagine a 15-year kicker and a coach with 40 years of experience working together.

Keep Mason Crosby in that building Brian Gutekunst. Do not let him leave until the Packers bring home that Lombardi Trophy once again. They cannot do it without him.