Wes, Pete and Ryan recap Saturday's wild NFC divisional playoff between the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Arizona. USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Green Bay’s Mason Crosby became the NFL’s most consistent postseason kicker Saturday night when he connected a 34-yard field goal just before the end of the first half.
It marked the ninth-year kicker’s 20th straight postseason field goal attempt without a miss, sending him past David Akers for most in NFL history.
“That’s obviously a huge accomplishment,” Crosby said. “I’m happy about that, but at the same time, I don’t like that I keep doing these good things when we’re not winning.
“I’d take a win any day over something like that. As everything unfolds, as we kind of move forward in the offseason, I’ll look at it and it will be something kind of cool. Right now, obviously, I would trade that for going on.”
Earlier in Saturday’s game against Arizona, Crosby had connected on 28-yard field goal attempt to tie Akers.
Both field goals were from the right hash mark, a side of the field that has plagued Crosby in the past. His eight total points gave Crosby 1,263 career points, including 118 in 15 playoff games. Including playoffs this season, Crosby has made 88 percent (28 of 32) of his field goal attempts.
Crosby also has scored in a franchise-best 15 straight postseason games.
The Packers lost starting wide receiver Randall Cobb at the end of the first quarter and defensive back Micah Hyde with 9 minutes left in the first half.
Cobb injured his chest making a remarkable one-handed catch that was nullified by offsetting penalties on the play. Cobb was replaced by Jeff Janis.
Hyde injured his hip making a tackle on receiver Michael Floyd. Hyde was replaced in the dime defense by Quinten Rollins.
Lacy breaks loose
Running back Eddie Lacy‘s 61-yard run early in the third quarter was the second-longest run in franchise playoff history.
James Lofton holds the record with a 71-yard run 33 years ago to the day, in a Jan. 16, 1983 game against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Packers had their top cornerback and starting left tackle available in the return to the desert Saturday night, and with them two huge pieces that were missing when they traveled to play the Cardinals last month.
Cornerback Sam Shields (concussion) and tackle David Bakhtiari (ankle) were included on the Packers’ 46-man active roster for their divisional-playoff game against Arizona. Both were inactive three weeks ago when the Cardinals trounced the Packers 38-8.
The Packers didn’t quite have a complete roster as receiver Davante Adams (knee) was inactive.
But rookie cornerback Quinten Rollins (quadriceps) was activated, and few things are as important as covering the pass and protecting the passer, and the Packers will have their complete secondary and offensive line available.
Shields is the Packers’ best cover man, a legitimate No. 1 cornerback. His presence in the secondary allows for more flexibility in using Rollins and Hyde.
But the difference last month was a faulty offensive line that allowed nine sacks, eight with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. Backup left tackle Don Barclay allowed four of those sacks, including two strip-sack fumbles returned for touchdowns. Bakhtiari has allowed three sacks all season, and none in his past nine games.
The Packers haven’t had their five preferred starting offensive linemen together in almost two months. The last time it happened was Nov. 22, when the Packers blew out the Minnesota Vikings on the road 30-13 in one of their best games of the year.
It was only the eighth time in 18 games the Packers’ entire starting offensive line is available, a stark contrast to last season when the offensive line had the same five starters in their final 16 games counting playoffs.