Crosby saves best game for last

Ryan Wood
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SEATTLE -- Mason Crosby called it one of the best games in his career. From the start Sunday, the Green Bay Packers' kicker was in a zone, connecting with the football as good as he could've hoped.

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.

If not for Green Bay's shocking, late-game collapse, Crosby was in line to be one of Sunday's heroes. The eighth-year veteran made all five of his field goals, the first time that's happened since the fourth game of last season. His fifth was especially important.

Even after Seattle came back to take a three-point lead in the final 2 minutes of the NFC championship game, Crosby made a 48-yard field that forced overtime.

"I just knew I needed to get it done," Crosby said of the kick. "I felt really good with how I hit the ball today. It was amazing our offense got us down there so quick in field goal range. We had to have it.

"The operation was great today – snap, hold, kick. The protection was excellent. I was just really happy to hit it through. Wish we could've gotten the win."

Crosby's clutch kick was washed over when the Seahawks beat the Packers 28-22 in overtime. Standing at his locker afterward, he was well aware. Of course, Crosby would have liked to get a sixth field goal opportunity, a kick that could have sent his team to the Super Bowl.

Instead, Crosby admitted "a little bit" of shock after the loss.

"I definitely don't like going to Seattle right now," Crosby said. "It's not one that has good feelings after the games, as of late. This one, I felt like we played a really good game together and just kind of let it slip there at the end.

"They did a good job of taking back control of the game, because we seemed to have control most of the game there. They found some momentum and were able to capitalize on it."

Crosby finished the season making 34-of-40 (85 percent) field goals. He saved his best for last. Crosby made all seven of his kicks in two postseason games. On Sunday, he made three field goals longer than 40 yards.

"I'm just happy I was able to capitalize and keep getting points on the board," Crosby said, "because that seemed to look like all we needed was kind of keep getting some points and we'd hold it off there. They made some great plays at the end to beat us.

"You've got to finish," Crosby said, "especially late in the year like this. Best of luck to them in the Super Bowl. We obviously wish we could've gotten this one."

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