If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
That was the theme of the final half hour of the Green Bay Packers’ victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend as Mason Crosby finally nailed a 49-yard field goal in overtime to send the Packers to their fourth-straight win. The successful conversion came on the heels of three missed attempts from Crosby that could have delivered the win much sooner. Still, crisis eventually was averted enough to give the Packers some momentum heading into rivalry week against Chicago.
Today’s musings look back at Crosby’s previous performances after rough outings, while checking in on one notable Bears injury and one of the Packers’ most stalwart defenders against Chicago as of late.
Mason Crosby has rebounded after miserable games in the past, though there have not been many
The 15-year pro has had an awfully successful career with Green Bay, especially in the latter portion of his career. Since 2013, Crosby has missed multiple field goal attempts in a single game just three times. Of course, the most recent occurrence was last Sunday’s game against Cincinnati in which Crosby missed three field goals and an extra point after making 27 consecutive field goal attempts. The fact that Crosby finished the game on a high note was a promising sign for more rebound performances in the games to follow.
In 2018, Crosby made just one of five field goal attempts in Week 5 against Detroit, to go along with a missed extra point. The following week, the veteran returned to normal as he converted all four field goals and all three extra point attempts. Crosby would finish the remainder of the season 19-for-21 on field goals and 26-for-26 on extra points. A few years earlier in 2013, Crosby went 2-for-4 on field goal attempts against Philadelphia in Week 7 before also rebounding with a flawless rest of the season.
As the Packers travel to Soldier Field and its notoriously swirling winds on Sunday, they will hope to have Crosby at his best. History suggests he will be.
The Bears are battling their own injuries along the offensive line
For a few weeks, the Packers have had their share of injuries that have caused shuffling along the offensive line. As Green Bay hopes to get starters Josh Myers and Elgton Jenkins back this week, their border rivals are looking for stability of their own at the tackle positions.
After signing Jason Peters late in the summer to start at left tackle, Chicago thought it had bolstered its line enough to offset injuries to rookie draft picks Larry Borom and Teven Jenkins. However, the Bears were hit with the injury bug again this past week, placing right tackle Germain Ifedi on injured reserve. The Bears’ depth will be tested as Elijah Wilkinson gets the start on the right side. The fifth-year pro is in his first season with Chicago after four seasons in Denver with a number of starts, but represents a change for a Bears line that had established some continuity up front.
Much of the storyline around this weekend’s game has been the Bears’ strong pass rush against the Packers’ pass protection. However, an improving Packers front seven, as noted below, against a battered Chicago line might be its own matchup of interest.
As a team, the Packers have gone from the low 20s to start the season up to 11th in Pass Rush Win Rate.— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) October 13, 2021
10th in Run Stop Win Rate.
This front is playing well.
Adrian Amos has been one of the Packers’ best weapons against Chicago
In 2019, the Packers essentially swapped safeties with Chicago. In free agency, Adrian Amos signed with Green Bay, while Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, traded midseason by the Packers, signed with the Bears. To say that the Packers came out on the better end of the transactions would be an understatement. Clinton-Dix’s stay in Chicago lasted just a single season, while Amos has played up to the level of his four-year contract.
Interestingly, some of Amos’s most highlight-worthy performances have come against his former team. In his very first game with Green Bay, coincidentally against Chicago, Amos had the put-away interception via Mitchell Trubisky in the end zone to halt the Bears’ final comeback drive of the game. Most recently, in the final game of the 2020 regular season, Amos earned his career-best grade from PFF (94.4) against Chicago after recording nine tackles and a fourth-quarter interception. If not for an offsides penalty that negated the play, Amos also forced and recovered a fumble in that contest. While there are many factors involved in the team’s play besides Amos, the Packers are 4-0 against Chicago since Amos joined the fold.
Green Bay has been adding fresher faces into the secondary since the injuries to both Kevin King and Jaire Alexander. Stability at safety may never have been more necessary since Amos’s arrival in Green Bay than it is right now, and he and Darnell Savage make up a reliable tandem in Amos’s return to Chicago again this Sunday.