The Lions jumped out to a 24-0 lead over the Packers today, turning in a solid performance and getting a big NFC North win over the Packers. But the story of the game was Mason Crosby.
Crosby, the Packers’ longtime kicker, had the worst game of his career — and one of the worst games for any kicker in NFL history.
The Packers sent Crosby out to attempt four field goals, and he missed all four of them. They also tried to kick one extra point, and Crosby missed that one as well. He would have been the first kicker in NFL history to try at least four field goals and one extra point in a game, and miss all of them, except that the Packers sent him out to kick one more field goal with two seconds left, and he made it. That provided the final points of the Lions’ 31-23 win.
Although Crosby was having a good season until today, his performance raises the question of whether the Packers will replace him. A game like that makes it hard for a team to have any faith in its kicker.
The Packers got a solid 70 yards on 12 carries from rookie running back Kerryon Johnson, although he left the game with a late injury. LeGarrette Blount wasn’t as effective but did have two one-yard touchdown runs.
Matthew Stafford‘s numbers — 14-of-26, 183 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions — were nothing special, although Stafford did have two long completions called back by penalties, and another long pass dropped in the end zone.
For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers played very well, but he kept getting the Packers into field goal range only to have Crosby miss. Amazingly, the Packers never punted all game — the first team this year to go a full game without punting, and the first team in three years to lose a game in which they didn’t punt.
The result drops the Packers to 2-2-1, while the Lions are at 2-3. They’re both looking up at the Bears in the NFC North, but the Lions have to feel good about getting a division win — and the Packers have to feel bad about their kicking situation.