Packers still have confidence in wayward kicker
Not getting his kicks
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Perhaps no one enjoyed the Packers' bye week more than kicker Mason Crosby.
He took a family trip, giving him a chance to unwind and come back for what he hopes will be a much better second half of the season. Crosby has made only five of his last 10 field goal tries as the Packers (6-3) prepare play at Detroit (4-5) on Sunday.
A year ago, Crosby made 24 of 28 attempts for a career-high percentage of 85.7. This year, he is 10 of 15, a 67 percent rate that is the lowest in the NFL this season among active kickers.
All the same, Crosby is a man of his word and he, wife Molly and their young son, Nolan, spent a few days in the Charlotte, N.C., area. A little golf, a little swimming and nothing to do with football for a bit.
"It was just nice to spend time with my wife and my son and just kind of separating from the game a little bit," Crosby said. "Because the season is so long, I think you've got to do that. Making kicks, missing kicks, whatever happens, I'm going to do that either way. So it was nice to have a refresher."
Nobody is hitting the panic button over the six-year veteran.
"I have a lot of confidence in his ability to put the ball through the uprights, and that will definitely be the case Sunday," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.
Getting the stretch run of the season started at Detroit's Ford Field might be a favorable scenario for Crosby. He is 10 of 11 on field goals at the indoor stadium in five games against the Lions since Crosby's rookie season with Green Bay in 2007.
"It's a big game [Sunday]," Crosby said. "It's a division game, and every point, every opportunity, offense, defense, special teams, every time I'm on the field it's going to matter — kickoffs and field goals. You've got to take advantage of those opportunities, put points on the board."
Crosby's recent struggles started in the controlled environment of an indoor venue, a setting in which he has flourished most of his career.
Crosby missed both of his field goals in the Packers' stunning 30-27 loss at Indianapolis on Oct. 7. That ended a streak of 16 straight field goals made indoors by Crosby going back to a Thanksgiving Day win at Detroit in 2009.
Two weeks later, Crosby missed a 58-yard kick at the end of the first half at St. Louis' Edward Jones Dome. But he connected on three other field goals in the 30-20 win over the Rams.
"Unfortunately the first three, the situations were ideal [for kicking], but they were all over 50," Crosby said of the string of misses.