Mason Crosby felt the love on his game-winning field goal

Packers’ all-time leading scorer gets his redemptive moment

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WR Randall Cobb and K Mason Crosby

Aaron Jones wasn't going to give Mason Crosby a pep talk.

With Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals hanging in the balance, the Packers' Pro Bowl running back knew the team's all-time leading scorer had his own process in place to prepare for the biggest kick of the season.

But after Crosby previously missed two tries at a potential game-winning field goal – plus a go-ahead kick late in the fourth quarter and a point-after much earlier – Jones wanted to say something, anything, to let his kicker know he had his back.

So, before Crosby strolled out on the field to attempt a 49-yard field goal with two minutes left in overtime, Jones spoke from the heart, if ever so briefly.

"I went up to him and just told him I loved him. That was it," Jones said. "He told me he loved me, gave me a little head nod and went out there."

With Jones and the rest of the team behind him, Crosby turned what had the makings of a nightmarish afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium into one of the most emotionally uplifting victories of the Matt LaFleur era, as his 49-yard attempt sailed through the uprights to seal a 25-22 Packers win.

It ended a topsy-turvy game in which Crosby and Cincinnati kicker Evan McPherson combined to miss five potential go-ahead or walk-off field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime. According to Elias, that's the first time that's happened since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.

"That was a crazy end to that game. That's insanity," said Crosby, afterward. "The fact that we kept getting opportunities, you've got to give it up to our team, the way we fought to get in that position again and I just wanted so badly to come through there. It's what I do. I had a couple go bad there and was really happy to hit that one."

Crosby's day started innocently enough other than missing an extra point in the second quarter. He bounced back to make two field goals from 44 yards and another from 22 that gave Green Bay a 22-14 lead with 11:20 left in the fourth quarter and extended his franchise record for consecutive made field goals to 27.

That streak came to an end when he missed a 36-yard field goal wide left with 2:12 remaining, a kick that would've put the Packers back up after Cincinnati tied the game at 22.

After McPherson missed from 57, quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed a 20-yard pass to Davante Adams to send Crosby out for another game-winning 51-yard field goal after he previously hit from there against San Francisco two weeks ago.

The ball sailed wide left on Crosby and the two teams headed to overtime. There, Crosby had another chance after Packers linebacker De'Vondre Campbell intercepted Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow and returned the ball to the Bengals' 18-yard line, but his 40-yard field goal again went wide left.

Cincinnati drove down to the Green Bay 32 on its next possession before Krys Barnes tackled Joe Mixon a yard shy of the first-down marker. Facing fourth-and-1, the Bengals sent McPherson out for a 49-yard field goal that initially looked good but sailed left.

"When the ball turned left, it kind of caught me off-guard," McPherson said. "Honestly, I thought the refs were playing a game with us whenever I looked down there and they were doing the 'no good' motion. I honestly thought they were playing a game because I struck it really well and I was really confident that it was going through."

Rodgers put the Packers back into scoring position with a 20-yard screen pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis and a 15-yard throw to veteran receiver Randall Cobb on third-and-16 that was inches shy of a first down.

After reiterating his confidence to LaFleur he could make the kick, Crosby went out and got his redemptive moment on the 10th game-winning field goal of his career (including playoffs).

"You've got to take joy in the moments," said Crosby, whose last missed field goal before Sunday came against the Detroit Lions on Dec. 29, 2019.

"All I can think about is that last kick right now. You see the faces of your teammates and what those guys put on the line to continue to get in that position I just want to come through for them."

Fittingly, after it was clear the kick was good, Jones was the first player to congratulate Crosby, as the two embraced amidst a sea of Packers players, teammates and coaches.

"We knew if Mason had to kick another one, he was going to hit this one," Jones said. "I'm kind of glad it worked out like that, get to make up for your mistakes that you made, face adversity and go do it. So I'm proud of Mason."

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