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Game notes: Mason Crosby back in the groove

Posted Oct 6, 2013

Robert Francois lost to Achilles injury; Clay Matthews injures thumb


GREEN BAY—Two months ago, Mason Crosby was fighting for his job. On Sunday, he etched his name once again in the Packers record books.

Crosby’s five field goals in the 22-9 victory over the Lions at Lambeau Field tied the franchise’s single-game record. Crosby’s 5-for-5 day makes him 9-for-9 on the season, just two months and three days after a disastrous Family Night scrimmage put his job in serious jeopardy.

“Ever since Family Night I’ve felt like I’ve really come into my own, come into the type of kicker I want to be, the type of kicker who makes kicks and guys rely on,” Crosby said.

“I just feel really good with my timing and my tempo with my kicks.”

Crosby matched the five field goals made by two previous Packers kickers – Chris Jacke did it twice, on Nov. 11, 1990, at the L.A. Raiders, and on Oct. 14, 1996, vs. San Francisco; Ryan Longwell did it at Arizona on Sept. 24, 2000.

Crosby’s longest of the day, and this season, was from 52 yards early in the second quarter, his second make in the game. To that point, he hadn’t attempted one longer than 41 yards in a game yet this year, but by drilling the long one, he seemed to be at ease with the kicks from 42 and 45 yards in the fourth quarter.

“It felt great,” Crosby said of the 52-yarder, which put the Packers ahead 6-0. “It didn’t come off with a ton of elevation, but obviously enough to clear any kind of penetration. But it was right down the middle.

“Down on that (south) end, even though there wasn’t much wind in there, as I’m learning the ‘new’ Lambeau, sometimes I just have to blast one down the middle. Just take all the side-to-side wind out of it and just hit it. That’s what I did with that 52. It felt perfect. Every other kick after that was right down the middle and felt solid.”

Almost 100 again: Running back Eddie Lacy came up just one yard shy of becoming the third different Packers running back in three games to rush for 100 yards.

Lacy finished with 23 carries for 99 yards. He actually had 99 yards after 21 carries, but then he lost three yards on a rush up the middle just after the two-minute warning. He gained those three yards back on his next rush, but then quarterback Aaron Rodgers took a knee on the Packers’ final offensive snap.

“A little bit (frustrating), but you know, 99 yards, that’s still positive,” Lacy said. “It’s a long season. We have a long road ahead of us, so we’ll get there eventually.”

The ground game was turned over to Lacy and Randall Cobb after Johnathan Franklin fumbled for the second straight game. Franklin, who topped 100 yards two weeks ago in Cincinnati before fumbling on a key fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter, fumbled midway through the second quarter on his third carry Sunday (Rodgers recovered for the Packers) and didn’t touch the ball again.

Off the bench: Second-year outside linebacker Nick Perry didn’t start on Sunday. Mike Neal did instead.

But Perry turned in probably the best game of his young career, posting his first two-sack outing, which doubled his career sack total to four.

Both sacks came in the second half. On the first, Perry was nearly tackled by Detroit left tackle Riley Reiff but still got to quarterback Matthew Stafford. On the second, he stripped Stafford of the ball but Reiff managed to recover for the Lions.

With additional sacks by Neal, Clay Matthews and Brad Jones, all five of the Packers’ sacks came from the linebacking corps, with Jones the only inside backer of the bunch.

“Watching film, he likes to get the ball out quick, but he held the ball a little longer and it helped to get the pressure on him,” Neal said of Stafford. “Five sacks is great, four coming from our outside linebacker unit. We’re just going to try to ride that wave.”

The streak continues: Sunday’s win was the Packers’ 23rd in a row over the Lions in the state of Wisconsin, including a playoff victory in 1994. The 22 straight regular-season home wins over one opponent is the longest in NFL history.

“It’s a pretty good streak,” guard Josh Sitton said. “It’s almost unheard of.”

Injury update: Brad Jones left the game with a hamstring injury, and he was replaced by Robert Francois, who later tore his Achilles tendon. Jamari Lattimore then replaced Francois.

Matthews also left with a thumb injury, sustained on his sack on the final play of the third quarter.

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