Titletown 101: Crosby Close to Breaking “Unbreakable” Record
Kicker quietly builds legacy during team’s struggles
BY THOM GERRETSEN
Mason Crosby is no Jeff Feagles. But then again, he doesn’t have to be. Feagles has played in more consecutive National Football League games than anyone else. Crosby is close to breaking a smaller yet similar record — one that’s so historic, many Green Bay Packers’ fans long assumed it could never be broken.
As the Pack’s placekicker for almost 16 years, Crosby is close to eclipsing Brett Favre’s team record of 255 straight games played in the regular season. Barring serious injury or other breakdown, he expects to become the Pack’s new symbol of durability in a Christmas Day contest at Miami.
But Crosby, now 38, would have to play five-and-a-half more seasons to break the NFL’s longest string of 352 consecutive games. That’s owned by Feagles, a punter who – like Crosby – had played in every game of his career with New England, Philadelphia, Arizona, Seattle and the New York Giants.
Both are among the top players in their respective crafts. Feagles, who retired at 43 after the 2009 season, holds the NFL mark for career punts with 1,713 over 22 seasons. Arizona’s Andy Lee, in his 19th year, is a handful of punts away from moving into a distant second at 1,445. Feagles’ kicks covered 71,211 yards: He specialized in “coffin corner” placements that forced opponents to more often go 90+ yards to score.
Crosby also kicks off to opponents, of course, but his main job is to score – sometimes in ultra-high-pressure situations. He’s done it longer, and in larger numbers, than any of the Packers’ previous placekickers. Crosby is Green Bay’s all-time leading scorer with 1,861 points as of Nov. 17. A few days earlier, he kicked his 11th career game-winning field goal — an overtime walkoff in a 31-28 Packers’ home win over Dallas. Those are never easy, but this 28-yarder carried the weight of a five-game losing streak that Crosby booted off his teammates’ shoulders.
And while even the most ardent of Packer fans point fingers at a season that rapidly went south, Mason Crosby has quietly added to his legacy.
As his team’s futility streak began in London Oct. 9, he moved into an all-time top 10 kickers’ list with 114 career games scoring eight points or more. That tied him with John Kasay for ninth place — a larger factor in the Packers’ success than you might think. According to Fansided statistician Jerry Tapp, the Pack’s loss to the Giants in England ended a streak of 17 Green Bay wins when Crosby gets eight points or more. He’s also 11th all-time with 65 games of 10-or-more-points.
On Oct. 30, loss No. 4 in the Pack’s nosedive moved Crosby to No. 1 all-time among NFL placekickers with 249 straight games played. He passed Morten Andersen on that Sunday night in Buffalo, and he moved into 7th among all players. On Nov. 6, in what appeared to be Green Bay’s most humiliating defeat at Detroit, Crosby’s only points – a fourth quarter field goal — moved him past Phil Dawson into 13th on the all-time NFL points’ list with 1,850. During the Pack’s Thanksgiving “mini-bye,” Crosby was 14 points behind 12th-place Stephen Gostkowski who won three Super Bowl rings with New England.
If Crosby breaks Favre’s Packers’ team record Dec. 25, he’ll tie London Fletcher for fourth with 256 games played in a row. He would not be able to move into third place until Week 8 of 2024, if he can pass Jim Marshall’s 282. Finally, Crosby could surpass Favre’s overall NFL streak of 299 consecutive games on 2025’s eighth week, leaving only Feagles’ record to pursue for three more seasons and a gameday. It would be like Favre passing a torch to Crosby for the second time. After all, Favre ended his Packers’ tenure in the same season that Crosby began his – 2007.
To be continued