Packers notes: Final FG attempt fails to cooperate for Mason Crosby
GREEN BAY - There have been windier days inside Lambeau Field, but few times has the wind left kicker Mason Crosby so flummoxed.
After making five consecutive field goals in the Green Bay Packers’ 29-29 tie against the Minnesota Vikings, Crosby lined up for a potential game-winning, 52-yard attempt with three seconds left in regulation. It went through the uprights, but Vikings coach Mike Zimmer called timeout before the snap, erasing the victory.
Crosby said he wasn’t fazed by Zimmer’s attempt to ice him, but it worked anyway. Because the Packers kicker used the same line he’d followed all day, compensating for a left-to-right crosswind.
This time, his kick stayed left outside the upright.
“Everything seemed fine,” Crosby said. “Protection was great all day. So obviously had a great day up until that point. So disappointing not to come through there for the team.
“I just kind of held it outside the left there, and on that end it seemed like the ball – all my other kicks moved to the right.”
Crosby pointed to Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson, who missed each of his three attempts wide right toward the north end zone. Carlson’s final attempt came as the clock expired in overtime, cementing the 29-29 tie.
Sunday was tough for both kickers, primarily because of the deceptive wind.
“Obviously, went from being my best regular-season game to just kind of a little bummed about that kick,” Crosby said. “We’ve gotta knock that through to help this team win. We all lay it on the line, and unfortunately had a great game leading up to that. Just wasn’t able to execute that final one.”
Few things happen by accident in the NFL, and the opening score of Sunday’s game wasn’t any different. With Minnesota lining up for its first punt of the game backed up at its own 15-yard-line with 7 minutes, 33 seconds left in the first quarter, Packers special teams coordinator Ron Zook had his unit prepared to put its imprint on the game.
Punter Matt Wile was signed a week before the season opener, so the Vikings were still working through things schematically and Zook found a flaw that could be exploited.
“We schemed up some things we'd seen,” Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison said. “We knew what to kind of attack.
“It worked out well. We did what we thought they’d do and it worked out.”
Allison shot off of Wile’s right side and used his 6-foot, 3-inch frame to block the kick. It floated into the air, and cornerback Josh Jackson was there to haul it in in the end zone.
“I looked up and I just seen the ball in the air,” Jackson said. “I just tried to get up and catch it.”
Quite literally, it was drawn up that way, Jackson chuckled.
“It was exactly what he planned to do,” he said. “It was executed well.”
Second-year corner back Kevin King missed the end of the second quarter and the entire second half for the Packers due to a groin injury. His return was announced as questionable, but he did not return to action.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer made no bones about his unhappiness with the way the Packers' offensive line blocked his defense.
Zimmer thought the Packers could have been called for holding a lot more than they were. The Vikings sacked Aaron Rodgers four times and knocked him down four or five times more and Zimmer seemed to think they would have wreaked more havoc if the officials would have paid attention.
Zimmer said he was forced to make some changes with the way the Vikings rushed Rodgers.
“They grab our guys so much on the outside and don’t get called for it,” he said. “During the game, we talk about having to makes these guys move side to side, got to make them move their feet because if you come in there and they grab you on the outside it’s supposed to be called holding.
“But it doesn’t happen a lot of the time.”
Though Rodgers said he expected to play against Washington on Sunday, he admitted he was sore, and not just in the knee area.
He will have to continue treating the knee for a while, but he wasn’t sure if it was something that would bother him all year long.
“I hope not,” he said. “We’ll see. It’s the type of thing that could linger for a while, but we’ll see.”