The Green Bay Packers saw their 2013 NFL season come to a bitter end on Sunday night as Phil Dawson booted the game-winning field goal as time expired. With this win, the San Francisco 49ers will move on to face the Carolina Panthers while Green Bay is now headed to the offseason.
It may not have been the ending Packer fans wanted, but regardless of how their season ended, one player has truly emerged as the unsung hero of the 2013 season. That player is none other than kicker Mason Crosby.
Crosby had one of his most consistent runs during his seven-year career this past season, converting 33-of-37 field goals, which averages out to 89.2 percent of his kicks being made. Crosby also went 42-of-42 on extra points, also adding to his impressive season. He made his second-longest career field goal this season as he connected from 57 yards out against the New York Giants.
Coming into the 2013 season, Crosby was immediately put under a microscope as the Packers brought two different kickers in to challenge him for the starting job during training camp. With both kickers not able to handle the pressure of the NFL and putting up terrible preseason stats, Crosby was appointed the starter, but he was given a special contract that would pay him based on how well he performed during the season.
Needless to say, Crosby completely surpassed all the goals that were set for him, making coach Mike McCarthy breathe one huge sigh of relief.
The 2014 season will be even more exciting for the Packers then 2013, but the amount of production that comes from the kicking game will be crucial. Crosby has once again placed himself among the league’s best and most accurate kickers. Next season could very well be the best season for Crosby yet.