It was a rough day at the office for Mason Crosby on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. The Green Bay Packers’ veteran place kicker missed four kicks against the Cincinnati Bengals — two game-winning opportunities, including two inside the final three minutes of regulation and another in that would have given the Packers the lead. He also called a pair of coin tosses incorrectly, including one to start overtime.
Overtime took place because of two Crosby misses in the last 2:12 of game time, as well as a miss from Bengals kicker Evan McPherson from 57 yards out. Then, Crosby’s third miss and second potential game-winning attempt was assisted in large part by a big play from the Packers’ defense. De’Vondre Campbell intercepted an inexplicable pass from Joe Burrow on the first play of overtime, but Crosby pushed yet another boot wide left from 40 yards out.
A tremendous catch by Bengals rookie Ja’Marr Chase along the right sideline set up a 49-yard attempt for McPherson, but he pushed his attempt just left as well. Following a 15-yard gain by Randall Cobb on a 3rd and 16, Crosby came on for his fourth game-winning opportunity, this one from 49 yards out. He finally put that one right down the middle, giving the Packers an absurd 25-22 victory to push them to 4-1 on the season.
In regulation, Chase and Davante Adams lit up the box score, with both stars getting going early on. Adams scored a touchdown and eclipsed the 100-yard mark before halftime even arrived, while Chase delivered a massive 70-yard score just before the break.
Because of Jaire Alexander’s absence, the Packers had to cover Chase with a combination of Kevin King and rookie Eric Stokes. The Chase-Stokes battles were entertaining, reprising a Georgia-LSU game from the 2019 season, but the Packers struggled overall to contain Chase. Chase did get the better of the matchup overall, finishing with five catches for 138 yards and the touchdown. Adams would eclipse 200 yards in a game for the first time in his career, finishing with 11 catches for 206 and a score of his own.
Green Bay’s offense struggled in the first quarter, as the team picked up just three first downs on the first three drives. Aaron Rodgers lofted an uncharacteristic interception to Chidobe Awuzie on the second series, targeting Adams in one-on-one coverage. The Packers’ defense forced a punt on the ensuing series, but allowed a 10-play touchdown drive as Samaje Perine gave the Bengals a 7-0 lead just before the end of the first quarter.
Adams exploded on the ensuing drive, picking up gains of 17 and 34 yards. Dillon was also a frequent dump-off receiver in the first half, and he delivered the Packers’ first touchdown of the game on a 12-yard swing pass out of the backfield. After Mason Crosby hit the upright on his extra point attempt, Green Bay would go on to score on three consecutive drives in the second quarter, adding a field goal for a 9-7 lead before Adams hauled in a tremendous five-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute left in the first half.
But two plays later, Joe Burrow would connect with Chase on a 70-yard bomb to keep Cincinnati within a field goal at the break. The ball landed in Chase’s hands, just over a diving Darnell Savage, and he scampered in for a score.
The Packers defense denied the Bengals’ double-up opportunity coming out of the half, however, as Adrian Amos picked off Burrow on Cincinnati’s third play. The Packers would run 12 plays for 56 yards before expanding their lead to 19-14 with a field goal, then added another three points after a 59-yard bomb from Rodgers to Adams set the team up in the red zone.
That eight-point edge would be critical, as the Bengals would tie the game with 3:27 left. Cincinnati patiently worked their way down the field for a 13-play drive, A critical third-down conversion from Burrow to Chase and hard running from Perine and Joe Mixon got the Bengals deep into Packers territory. With Kevin King ailing from an awkward tackle earlier in the series, Mixon juked Shemar Jean-Charles on the edge and waltzed into the end zone and Burrow hit Tee Higgins in the back of the end zone for a two-point conversion to tie the game.
Aaron Jones would deliver a lightning bolt on the opening play of the next series, giving the Packers an exceptional start. He ran through, around, and over several Bengals on a 57-yard scamper, putting the Packers well inside field goal range immediately. But the offense struggled to keep moving the ball, setting up a potential go-ahead field goal attempt for Mason Crosby. But after a trio of hits earlier in the game to extend his streak, Crosby missed a 36-yard attempt wide left, giving Cincinnati a chance to win the game with over two minutes on the clock and two timeouts.
For the second time in the game, a kicker hit an upright. Evan McPherson bonked a 57-yard attempt off the right upright, setting up the Packers near midfield with 20 seconds left and a chance to win the game in regulation. Rodgers would hit Adams on a chunk play to get the Packers well into Crosby’s range, but he missed his second straight attempt with the clock expiring.
That led to the overtime shenanigans, with Campbell intercepting Burrow on the first play. But after two straight runs up the middle, Crosby pushed another kick wide left before McPherson returned the favor a few plays later. That set up Cobb’s big catch to get the Packers back into field goal range. On 4th and inches, Matt LaFleur decided to trust Crosby one more time with a 49-yarder instead of leaving his offense on the field, and Crosby delivered the winner.
Green Bay’s offense found some explosive plays, with Jones’ 57-yard run being the biggest run of the season for the team. He would finish with 14 carries for 103 yards, while Dillon had 30 yards on eight attempts. Each back caught four passes, but Dillon’s went for 49 yards and a score. Rodgers completed 27 of his 39 pass attempts for 344 yards, two scores, and an interception.
The Packers move to 4-1 on the season with the win and will return home to host the Chicago Bears in an early game next Sunday.