Mason Crosby booted a 51-yard field goal to beat the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday, but when the ball left Mason’s foot, a successful try was far from certain, as the ball instantly sailed left.
“I didn’t love how it came off my foot,” the Green Bay kicker said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show, chuckling. “I think I got a little juiced up with the distance and kind of hit a little higher on the ball than I was intending, but I kind of just drove it through there. Sometimes if you kind of compress and hit more middle of the ball, that ball kind of moves both directions. Being indoors probably (helped). If there had been a wind blowing left to right, that ball might have moved outside the uprights. And being from that distance, here in Green Bay, the last month of the season, there’s no way I’d be able to kick a field goal from 56, more than likely, unless we had a strong wind at our backs. I (told) coach (that) if we got to the 40-yard line, I felt like we could hit a good ball and get it there without much problem.”
Dallas tied the game just 23 seconds earlier, with Dan Bailey connecting on a 52-plus-yard field goal of his own. That left Aaron Rodgers with 35 seconds and two timeouts.
There was no way Green Bay was playing for overtime. Rodgers found Jared Cook for a jaw-dropping 35-yard reception to set up Crosby’s game-winner.
“Oh man, it’s hard to describe the emotion and the feeling that you get, especially when you’ve seen Aaron do it so many times,” Crosby said. “Once he started rolling out and he’s looking downfield, you just wonder how much is he going to try to get? I never envisioned him throwing it 35 yards down the field. I thought at that point it was, let’s take something underneath, we still had timeouts, and if he gets across the 50, maybe we try a long field goal or we throw one into the end zone. Once he released that ball and it just kind of kept traveling, you just kind of look to see who it’s going to and then at that moment just have to lock in and get ready for that kick. . . . The last two minutes is one that I’ll never forget. That was the wildest two minutes of any game I’ve ever been in.”
Jason Garrett tried to ice Crosby, but it didn’t work. The 10-year vet made both kicks.
“It definitely adds an element where you have to focus in a little bit more,” Crosby said of being iced. “It has worked in the past. I like how Coach McCarthy does it. He usually tries to call that timeout before you can have an attempt on the field. Most of the time, NFL kickers, if you give us two chances, more often than not, (we’ll make it). I didn’t know if they were going to call a timeout or not. But sometimes those longer kicks, you might as well just see if they can hit it and don’t call the timeout.”
In any event, the Packers are back in the NFC Championship. They will face the Falcons in Atlanta this Sunday at 3:05 p.m. ET.