Packers notes: Crosby misses twice

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Tom Silverstein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Monday, November 11, 2013

GREEN BAY—On a day when lots of other things went wrong, Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby followed suit rather than bucking the trend.

Coming off the worst season of his career in 2012, Crosby bounced back by hitting 19 of his first 21 field goal attempts this season as well as all 25 extra points. Against Chicago last week at Lambeau Field, he connected from 30 and 23 yards and chipped in a beautifully hit onside kick.

But with a 12 mph wind blowing through the stadium, Crosby missed his first two attempts Sunday, first from 53 yards and then from 42. The first hit the right upright and the second just missed to the right.

“They just stayed out there,” Crosby said of expecting the ball to carry to the left. “I wish I had those kicks back. It's disappointing losing, especially at home.”

Crosby could have made the 27-13 game a little closer with conversions, and his miss from 53 yards gave the Eagles the ball at their own 43, setting up a 55-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the drive. After his 42-yard miss, the Eagles drove from their own 33 down to the Packers 7, where they settled for a field goal.

As far as contact, Crosby said he hit both balls well and on the 53-yarder he said he hit it exactly where he wanted it to go.

“The wind was blowing right to left,” he said. “It started coming back late and I just kind of played it right on the upright, thinking it would turn. It just stayed right out there. I hit it on a line and wanted it to move. It actually moved the other way and then started to come back and I just missed it.”

Crosby came back to hit from 26 and 35 yards, so the day wasn't a complete disaster. His counterpart, Eagles kicker Alex Henery also missed a field goal, his wide left from 39 yards.

Crosby kicked off again and forced two touchbacks. The other returnable kick was taken back just 10 yards.

Straight shooter: Nose tackle B.J. Raji was not sugar-coating anything after the game.

“I think they just out-executed us and played well,” Raji said when asked if the Eagles looked better in the second half. “At times, it looked like they were playing harder than us. And that's something we never stand for.

“We haven't been playing up to our standards the last two weeks. Particularly today. And the only people who are going to help us are ourselves.”

Raji wasn't yelling or pointing fingers. But you would have thought this was a loss in the playoffs after talking to him. He went on when questioned some more.

“We didn't tackle well in the second half,” he said. “Sometimes we got caught out of position. The front end and the back end works together and sometimes when they (the Eagles) are coming up with big plays or passes and getting big runs, sometimes you get discombobulated. That's not acceptable….

“In the second half, particularly in that last nine minutes, we just collapsed and folded. And that's unlike us. Only thing we can do is learn from this and move on.”

Can't fight city hall: Offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse gave up another sack in a relief appearance after saying he would redeem himself Sunday.

Newhouse had a bad pass-blocking day against Chicago, allowing a pair of sacks to Bears end Shea McClellin. On Sunday, Eagles backup end Vinny Curry, who came into the game tied for the team lead with three sacks, beat Newhouse with a stutter move and ran unimpeded to quarterback Scott Tolzien for an 8-yard loss in the fourth quarter.

Newhouse committed a false-start penalty on the next play.

When asked to compare how he played a week ago, he said, “You've already got that written. You go ahead and write that.”

Close but no cigar: Receiver Jordy Nelson said he's reasonably sure his catch in the corner of the end zone on fourth and 4 at the Philadelphia 7 late in the game was a completion.

It was ruled incomplete on the field, but television replays showed that he might have gotten his hand under the ball when he hit the ground. Coach Mike McCarthy challenged the ruling and lost.

“I didn't know if there was going to be enough evidence to overturn it until we saw the last shot,” Nelson said. “I thought it showed my hand and arm underneath it. I didn't think the ball moved.

“I thought when I rolled over, I showed it right away. When we saw the last chance I thought we had a good shot. I was somewhat shocked when they told us it wasn't.

Nowhere to run: Rookie running back Eddie Lacy found the sledding much tougher in the second half and finished with just 73 yards on 24 carries.

His longest run of the day went for only 11 yards. As a whole, runs into the second level were sparse.

“They definitely stacked the box today,” Lacy said. “It made it real difficult for us to run the ball, but we did the best we could with what we had.”

So what do the Packers do?

“I have no idea, man,” Lacy said. “I have no idea.”

With quarterback Aaron Rodgers out for a while, Green Bay will need to figure it out. Lacy will continue to be the focal point for opposing defenses. But the Eagles—and their middle-of-the-pack run defense—stuffed Green Bay all day. James Starks also managed just 5 yards on his four carries.

“It changes because they get to tee off,” Lacy said. “They know it's a run. We have to do what we have to do, but it definitely gives them an advantage. They get the quick jump. They pretty much know what it is.”

A first in Green Bay: It is believed that Wallace is the first African-American quarterback to ever start a game for the Packers.

There have been other African-Americans who have taken snaps at quarterback, but they were in a reserve role.

Charlie Brackens played in one game as a backup in 1955 and Willie Gillus played in relief of Alan Risher during the strike season of 1987.

The Packers drafted Aaron Brooks in 1999, but he never played in a regular-season game for them and was traded to New Orleans in 2000.

Bob McGinn, Lori Nickel and Tyler Dunne of the Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.

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