Green Bay Packers coach absolves kicker Mason Crosby of some blame for end-of-game misses

Mason Crosby, Packers kicker, misses three field goals in regulation and overtime early in overtime but kicks the winner in OT against Bengals. (1:18).
GREEN BAY (Wis.) -- After Mason Crosby had missed three field goals that could have won the game, and then finally scored the winning goal on his fourth attempt, coach Matt LaFleur exonerated the 37-year old kicker.

LaFleur stated Monday that there were "just some things that we absolutely must clean up from an operational standpoint," referring to the Packers' overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Mason can't take all that. "I thought there were some areas we need to correct, and I was right."

Operation is the code name for protection, snap, hold, and protection in the world of special forces.

Hunter Bradley, a long-snapper, has struggled to snap accurately. Holder Corey Bojorquez, a newcomer to the season, has struggled with snap accuracy. There have been protection problems -- a near block on Week 3's game-winning field goal and a block that was retracted by a penalty for Week 4.

LaFleur stated, "I'm going not to throw anyone under the bus. So I'm going to not expand on that." "Sorry, but you will have to view the tape and evaluate it yourself to come up with your own conclusions."

Crosby said Sunday that he is his harshest critic, and would correct any mistakes. Crosby had already made 27 consecutive field goals in regular season, including three against the Bengals. He missed the 36 yard mark with 2:02 left in regulation. He also missed the 51 yard mark on the last play of regulation. Joe Burrow was intercepted by De'Vondre Camp on the first play overtime.

Evan McPherson, a Bengals rookie kicker, missed the right upright from 57 yards with 21 second left in regulation. He then missed 49 yards after Crosby's first overtime missed.

Crosby, the team’s career scoring leader, ended it with a 49-yard field kick with 1:55 remaining in overtime.

Crosby stated, "All I can think of is that last kick right here." "You can see the faces of your teammates, and the sacrifices that those men made to keep you in that position. They are my priority and I want to do well. Everyone has faith in me. I have faith that they will continue to get those ops.

"I am so glad I was able get through it at the end, and that I can celebrate it. I am a realist, I'm honest with my self and I'm probably the harshest critic. I will do my best to help and clean up any protection or operations on the other side. We moved some men around, and the protection was great throughout the day.

The Packers have more than field goal operation issues to worry about. Another cornerback may be gone. Kevin King was unable to finish Sunday's game due to a shoulder injury that was apparently worsened by a collision in the third quarter with Tyler Boyd, a Bengals receiver.

LaFleur stated that King, who has had shoulder injuries in the past, was "playing a lot of that or part of that particular game with basically one hand." "So I thought that he competed well, and was playing really really well."

The Packers lost All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alex to a shoulder injury last week. With the hope of returning at some point in the season, he was put on injured reserve.

Two of the Packers' top cornerbacks could be out for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears. As the team's top cornerbacks, Rookie Eric Stokes and Isaac Yiadom finished the Bengals game. Rasul Douglas, a cornerback for Arizona's practice team, was signed by the Packers last week. However, he was not active against Cincinnati.