The Green Bay Packers are going to the Super Bowl.
Forgive my excitement, but if you watched the game against the Detroit Lions this past Sunday then you understand. Perhaps it is too early to crown them the eventual NFC champions, particularly when looking at teams like New Orleans and Seattle and the way they have dismantled opponents this year (or at least driven them crazy). After the game against the Lions, however, one thing should be clear to every Packer fan: Mason Crosby has figured out where to kick the football.
Aaron Rodgers is often regarded as the best quarterback in the game today, with his ability to fit the football into incredibly tight windows, improvisation and quick feet, he is looked on as a true dual threat unlike Robert Griffin III, whose game has suffered greatly since he lost his scrambling ability. This season, however, Rodgers has been one of the most disappointing elements of the Green Bay offense. He has played well enough for the stat sheet, certainly, but with the exception of the game against the Redskins, he has yet to carve up a defense with his usual flair.
Which brings us to Crosby. The most hated man in Green Bay last season, Crosby suffered through an offseason in which the Packers did everything they could to run him out of town, including adding an extra kicker with only days left in the preseason. Through it all, the former Colorado kicker stayed strong and closed the offseason with an extended period of perfection in which he didn’t miss a single kick.
This didn’t raise the hopes or trust for most fans, however. With the up and down nature of Crosby throughout his career, he may very well be required to make every kick he attempts from now until the end of time before the Green Bay faithful open their arms to him. Luckily, he is doing just that this season. A perfect 9 of 9 on field goals, including a 52 yarder, Crosby may well hold the Packers’ chances on his…foot?
A rejuvenated defense led by CM3 has certainly helped Green Bay this year, but their inexplicable inability to cross the endzone line has placed more pressure on Crosby than ever before. Though he finished last season only 21 of 33, I believe that he can pull it through this year and kick them right into a New York Super Bowl.
He has to. Rodgers certainly isn’t helping.
A Wisconsin native, Paul Gilleland loves all things football but especially those of his beloved Packers. Sarcastic and opinionated, Paul tends to speak his thoughts about the NFL without much of a filter. Please comment or email Paul directly at Pgilleland@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com. You can also find him on Twitter @PMichaelG