Aaron Jones wouldn’t give Mason Crosby a pep talk.
With Sunday’s game remaining against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Packers were running behind the Pro Bowl knowing that the team’s all-time leading scorer had his own process of making the biggest kick of the season.
But Crosby had previously missed two attempts at a potential game-winning field goal as well as a go-kick late in the fourth quarter and then much earlier-something to tell Jones to his kicker, anything he had to say.
So, with two minutes left in overtime, Jones spoke heartily, if only a little, before taking a tour of Crosby ground to try to score a 49-yard field goal.
“I went to him and just told him I loved him. That’s what happened,” Jones said. “He told me he loved me, shook my head a little and walked out.”
With Jones and the rest of the team behind him, what Crosby did on a terrific afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium became one of the most emotionally uplifting victories of the Matt Laffler era, as his 49-yard effort went high. 25-22 Packers seal victory.
This led to Crosby and Cincinnati kicker Evan McPherson losing five possible go-forward or walk-off field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime. According to Elias, this was the first time since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.
“It was a crazy end to that game. It’s crazy,” Crosby later said. “We kept getting opportunities, you have to hand it over to our team, the way we fought to get back in that position and I had a very bad desire to get there. That’s what I do. I had it. The couple went bad there and really enjoyed killing it. “
Crosby’s day started flawlessly in the second quarter without losing an extra point. He jumped back from 44 yards to score two field goals and the other 22 gave Green Bella a 22-14 lead with 11:20 remaining in the fourth quarter and extended his franchise record to 27 for consecutive field goals.
That streak ended when he dropped a 36-yard field goal 2:12 balance, which Cincinnati would have brought back to the Packers after a 22-yard draw.
After missing out on McPherson 57, quarterback Aaron Rogers completed a 20-yard pass to Davante Adams for another game-winning 51-yard field goal after Crosby hit it from there against San Francisco two weeks ago.
The ball went wide left on Crosby and both teams went to overtime. There, Packers linebacker D’Vondre Campbell blocked Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow and the ball returned to the Bengals’ 18-yard line, giving Crosby another chance, but his 40-yard field goal went to the left again.
Cincinnati went down to Green Bay 32 in his next possession before Chris Barnes faced Joe Mixon with a first-down marker’s yard laziness. Facing the fourth and 1st, the Bengals sent McPherson for a 49-yard field goal that looked good at first but went to the left.
“He caught me off-guard when the ball turned left,” McPherson said. “Honestly, I thought whenever I looked down the ref was playing a game with us and they weren’t making ‘some good’ moves. I honestly thought they were playing a game because I hit really well and I really believed it crossed Was doing. “
Rogers threw back to the Packers with a 20-yard screen pass to Mercedes Lewis and a 15-yard throw to veteran receiver Randall Cobb in the third and 16th which was an inch shy of the first down.
After Laffler reaffirmed his confidence he could kick, Crosby went out and got his free moment on the 10th game-winning field goal of his career (including the playoffs).
“You have to enjoy the moment,” said Crosby, whose last missed field goal before Sunday came on December 29, 2019 against the Detroit Lions.
“That’s the last kick I can think of right now. I see the faces of your colleagues and what those kids did to stay in that position. I just want to come for them.”
Properly, after it became clear that the kick was good, Jones was the first player to congratulate Crosby, as the two hugged into a sea of packers players, teammates and coaches.
Jason said, “We knew Mason would hit him if he had to kick one more time. “I’m glad this is how it happened. Make up for the mistakes you made, face the adversity and do it. So I’m proud of Mason.”