Mason Crosby leads the way in a Green Bay Packers win?

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Mason Crosby Five FGs

Give a guy a chance and sometimes they will reward you or alternatively they could keep screwing you in critical situations.

That was the situation the Green Bay Packers faced at the end of last season when kicker Mason Crosby was an NFL-worst 21-of-33 (63.6 %) on field goal attempts.

Green Bay decided to stick with Crosby and they’re now reaping the benefits as he’s converted 21 straight kicks including the 2012 postseason and this year’s preseason.

Crosby proved that he’s truly back with five made field goals for the Packers (2-2)  in a 22-9 win over the Detroit Lions (3-2).

Packers defense vs. Lions

What It Means: The Packers have their kicking swag back, but can’t exactly say the same about the offense. Green Bay went 0-2 in their two red-zone trips and Aaron Rodgers posted a lower QBR number for the second game in a row (62.6 after posting a low 33.3 in loss to the Bengals). It was a good thing the Packers had Crosby because Rodgers’ 274 yards and one touchdown on a day where he was barely pressured was not overly impressive against a Lions teams who’s not known for limiting opposing quarterbacks.

Green Bay’s defense was good, but they weren’t great as the six points allowed suggests. Linebacker Nick Perry finally came to play with two sacks and four quarterback hurries. Combine that with what Mike Neal did – one sack and five hurries – and the Packers had a legitimate pass-rush.

Sit back and grab some popcorn because the NFC North race just got real. With the Lions and Bears falling, the Packers jump right back in the thick of the race at a half game back. The Packers hold the best point differential in the division at +21 with Lions (+8), Bears (+5) and Vikings (-8) trailing behind.

Player of the Game: Lions WR Calvin Johnson (inactive due to knee injury)

If Johnson hypothetically played on Sunday, it’s guaranteed that it would have been a different game. It was intriguing how much the Lions depend on defenses to game-plan against their best player. Without Johnson, the lions looked lost and that was with Reggie Bush playing. Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson are great players, but it can be argued that Johnson is even more valuable to his team.

Stat of the Game (5): Let’s keep the Crosby theme alive by highlighting the fact that it was the first time ever that he had made five field goals in a NFL or college game. He attempted five versus the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009, but didn’t make all five. He also attempted five while in college at Colorado in 2006 (vs. Iowa State) and even six in 2004 (vs. UTEP), but made four in each of those games as well.

What’s Next: Green Bay heads back on the road where they are 0-2 on the season. M&T Bank Stadium is the destination this week as the Packers take on the defending champions, the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore has had a similar up-and-down start to their season, but two of their three wins came at home in convincing fashion.

What did you think of the Packers’ low-scoring win over the Lions? Let us know by commenting below.

Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys sharing Fantasy Advice and pretends to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at grays@uwalumni.com.

*Images obtained from Packers.com

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