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Crosby gets his kicks

Dec 04, 2012 -- 6:00am
Screen capture/NFL on FOX 
Struggling kicker Mason Crosby was all smiles after his third successful field goal Sunday.

GREEN BAY – Mason Crosby isn’t officially out of his slump – if there is in fact some sort of notification for that – but the Green Bay Packers’ kicker’s 47-yard and 31-yard second-half field goals in Sunday’s 23-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings was officially a step in the right direction.

Crosby earned a standing ovation after nailing the 47-yarder, which pulled the Packers to within 14-13 at the time. The second made it a two-score game and provided the final margin.

“Anytime they’re cheering, I think that’s a good thing. I’m not going to complain about it,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday when asked about the Lambeau Field crowd’s reaction. “I think it tells you what the confidence level is in Mason.”

Of course, Sunday’s game could’ve had a very different storyline. On his first kick, Crosby banked in a 30-yard field goal off the left upright. Then, on a 53-yarder at the end of the half, he was way wide right.

“Mason missing that field goal was a letdown going into the locker room,” McCarthy said.

And then, coming out of halftime, Crosby overkicked on the opening kickoff and sent it out of bounds, giving the Vikings the ball at their own 40-yard line.

“We need him to make field goals and he’s missed some field goals, it’s obvious,” special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum said. “I think it was positive results for him and the amount of work he’s put into getting himself right. I thought he had a good week of practice. He kicked the ball very well. It was good to see him end the game that way.”

McCarthy was still somewhat vague about what happened on the 47-yarder, when he initially left his offense on the field to go for a fourth-and-7, which forced the Vikings to burn a timeout because they had 12 men on the field in their confusion. When the timeout ended, on came Crosby, who drilled the kick. It sounds as though the Packers saw an opportunity to catch the Vikings unawares and get the first down, and at the very least, force them to waste a timeout.

“I had a play called. We had a play called. We had a good play called,” McCarthy said. “They were in transition. Obviously, I think they had 12 guys on the field. Once they called timeout, the situation changes it, so that’s why I decided to go for the field goal.”

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