Crosby Gets A Kick Out Of Win

It’s hard to say what’s next for the first-year kicker out of Colorado, but after Sunday, it’s difficult to imagine it being topped by Mason Crosby’s debut. - More Audio | Video | Packers-Eagles Game Center

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K Mason Crosby jumps into OL Tony Palmer's arms after kicking the game-winning field goal on Sunday.


*For his performance on Sunday, Mason Crosby was chosen as the Packers 'Hall of Fame Featured Player of the Week.' The new weekly exhibit will contain memorabilia from the victory over the Eagles, including a game ball autographed by Crosby.

For more information on the Hall of Fame's new program, click here.*


Making the team out of training camp.

Check.

Making a 53-yard field goal on your first NFL attempt, long enough for second all-time in team history.

Check.

The first rookie kicker in club history to kick a game-winning field goal since Chris Jacke on Dec. 3, 1989, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the first rookie in the entire NFL to kick a game-winning field goal on opening day since Matt Bahr did it in overtime for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 3, 1979.

Check, and check.

One might go a whole career in order to achieve the aforementioned feats.

It took Mason Crosby one game.

It's hard to say what's next for the first-year player out of Colorado, but after Sunday's 16-13 win over the Eagles, it's difficult to imagine it being topped by Crosby's debut.

After edging incumbent Dave Rayner in training camp, you probably couldn't have blamed Crosby if he felt a sense of relief heading into Sunday. As it turns out, he had a very busy day and it got started with just over five minutes gone by in the first quarter when he booted a 53-yard field goal to give the Packers an early 10-0 lead.

Crosby would later add another field goal near the end of the third quarter, but as impressive as his day had been to that point, it wouldn't come close to matching the excitement that his final kick of the day possessed.

After Jarrett Bush raced down on a punt return and recovered a fumble at the Eagles' 31-yard line, the Packers pounded the ball three times on the ground to the 25. As if Crosby didn't already have a pressure-packed afternoon, it got a whole lot more interesting when he marched out to attempt a 42-yard field goal.

Despite a high snap from Rob Davis, punter Jon Ryan got the ball down, and Crosby's kick snuck in for the Packers first home-opening win since 2002.

Needless to say, Crosby had been anticipating his first real action as an NFL player, but even he didn't dream of how things transpired Sunday.

"I visualized this whole week, just having a good game and making kicks," Crosby said. "But the thing I'm most happy about is how this team fought through everything. We got a chance to win it and I was very happy I could perform and make the kick to finish it off for everybody."

Davis, the consummate professional, admitted he didn't snap the ball as well as he should have. But then again, it got the job done according to both Ryan and Crosby.

"The snap and hold was perfect," Crosby said. "The protection was great. That made it a lot easier whenever I can just go and not have to worry about that.

"As soon as I saw the ball, everything seemed perfect to me. I just went after it and it felt great off my foot."

Ryan said even if the snap were high, he didn't notice because that's not part of his job. Getting it down and helping Crosby put it through the uprights was first and foremost on his mind.

"Once you get out there, you're not thinking, you're just going," Ryan explained. "I just reacted and really when it comes down to it, that's what I'm paid to do.

"I probably take 150, 200 holds a week. Once you get in the game, you don't really think about it."

{sportsad300}Something people have been thinking about a little bit, on the other hand, is how Crosby would respond once the game was on the line. He proved himself in training camp, but he'd be the first to admit that the regular season is a whole new beast.

Certainly, he distinguished himself Sunday, and Head Coach Mike McCarthy was very pleased with what he saw out of his strong-legged kicker.

"He's a talented young man," McCarthy said. "Just seeing the way the ball comes off his foot, and the lift he gets is something that is uniquely special that way. His focus, concentration...He nailed it."

Ryan echoed those sentiments and added that Crosby couldn't have fared much better in his regular-season debut as a Packer.

"That's big-time," Ryan said. "Coming in as a kicker, you have a lot of pressure on you. To kick a 53-yarder and come back in the fourth quarter with the last kick is unbelievable."

This heroic effort wasn't lost on Brett Favre either, a man who has seen his fare share of pressure situations.

"He better make them all now," Favre joked. "I'm sure there was a lot of pressure and he handled it obviously. No matter what he does in the future, I wish him well obviously, but he will remember that one.

"What a way to start of your career. The way our game was going, that was great. We know now he can handle the pressure, now we will see if he can handle the conditions as they get worse."

Those questions will clearly be answered later in the season. For now, just as Favre said, Crosby had a performance he'll probably think back upon quite often.

Yet, answering questions in the media auditorium after the game, Crosby acknowledged Sunday's win was a total team effort and he was just happy to contribute.

"It's great being a part of this team," he said. "It was a great feeling to get the win today, it was great to make the team and be able to do this on my first time out.

"I kind of got thrown into the fire on the first test and that's kind of how I like it. It's exciting."

Exciting?

You can add that to the checklist, too.

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