Green Bay Packers grades: Specialists

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby is congratulated by his teammates after he made a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter during Sunday's NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash.

Mason Crosby

Crosby finished 23rd in field goal percentage (81.8 percent), but had three field goals and two extra points blocked due to protection issues. He went 4-for-7 to close the regular season, but made all seven of his field goals in the playoffs. His five makes against Seattle were critical with his 48-yarder near the end of regulation tying the game at 22 to force overtime. On kickoffs, he was on pace to set a career-best for fewest returns yards allowed off kickoffs at midseason, but finished with the highest of his career (24.6 yards per return). His 41 touchbacks on 102 kickoffs (40.2 percent) was a career-best.

Grade: B.

Tim Masthay

Masthay was on pace to set career highs in most major punting categories before a second-half slump sent him searching for answers. Admittedly struggled with confidence down the stretch when he averaged 39.8 gross yards and 33.9 net yards on his last 28 punts. His 37.0 net average was the lowest of his five seasons and ranked 30th in the NFL. He punted a career-low 49 times thanks in part to the league's top-scoring offense. He accepted blame for getting a punt blocked against Philadelphia on Nov. 16 and mishandling a botched extra point.

Grade: D-plus.

Brett Goode

Goode extended his streak of playing in 123 consecutive games (including playoffs) since joining the team in 2008. He didn't record a special teams tackle, overpursued on Marcus Thigpen's 75-yard return in Buffalo and whiffed on the punt Eagles linebacker Bryan Braman blocked. He had a few off-target snaps throughout the course of the year, but nothing that derailed a play.

Grade: C.

Grading scale

A: Elite NFL player

B: Above average

C: Average

D: Below average

F: Failed to perform at an NFL level

Note: Dropped passes, missed tackles, touchdowns allowed and sacks allowed were according to Pro Football Focus. Penalties according to

By the numbers

Key 2014 statistics, with NFL ranking out of 32 teams in parentheses.

Total offense: 386.1 yards per game (sixth).

Rushing offense: 119.8 yards per game (11th).

Passing offenses: 266.3 yards per game (eighth).

Total defense: 346.4 yards per game (15th).

Rushing defense: 119.9 yards per game (23rd).

Passing defense: 226.4 yards per game (10th).

Turnover differential: Plus-14 (first).

Takeaways: 27 (18 interceptions, nine fumble recoveries).

Giveaways: 13 (six interceptions, seven lost fumbles).

Net punting: 37.0 yards (31st).

Kickoff return average: 19.1 yards per return (31st).

Punt return average: 11.5 yards per return (fifth).

Sacks: 41 (tied for ninth).

Sacks allowed: 30 (tied for ninth fewest).

Penalties: 104 (tied for 13th fewest).

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