Mason Crosby is Underrated Says Really Exhausting Study on Kicking

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Mason Crosby blows it

Mason Crosby blows it

A lot of you have wondered why the Green Bay Packers still call Mason Crosby their kicker.

After all, Crosby had the worst field goal percentage in the NFL in 2012 (63.6) and he’s only hit more than 80 percent of his kicks in one NFL season. Not really awe-inspiring numbers.

That being said, Crosby is actually underrated according to an MIT study.

Huh?

Yes, the eggheads at MIT did a pretty exhaustive (and exhausting to read) study on field goal kicking in the NFL. Among the things they considered are how playing surfaces, weather, distance and playoff vs. regular season games affect the likelihood of success. They constructed a binary logistic regression model based on this data from 2000-11.

What the hell is a binary logistic regression model?

No idea!

Anyway, all of this was designed to factor in the difficulty of a kick.

First of all, we should point out that Lambeau Field was the second toughest venue to kick in, according to the research. The only tougher venue was New England’s Gillette Stadium, when it had grass. Gillette now has turf (and is ranked 26th), so Lambeau is actually the toughest active venue to kick in.

Here’s where this binary logistic regression model comes into play. While Crosby is actually 33rd in make percentage (again, from 2000-11), he’s also the fifth most underrated kicker in degree by make percentage.

What does that all mean? Crosby probably isn’t as bad as he usually looks because a lot of his kicks come in some of the NFL’s most difficult conditions.

If you have several hours, go pour through this white paper. If you actually have other stuff to do, at least take a glance at the tables.

Someone worked really hard on it.

(Thanks to Adam for the tip)

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

9 Comments on "Mason Crosby is Underrated Says Really Exhausting Study on Kicking"

  1. Stubbyduck

    I say we send this bum to the Vikings like the last one and get someone that can kick the ball like a pro!!

  2. Shawn Iltarion

    In considering Lambeau the most difficult place to kick, I wonder if they factored in Crosby’s kicks? If so, is it really the most difficult place to kick, or is it that Crosby just sucks, which skews the numbers?

    Typically, grass is easier to kick on than turf.

    I seem to remember the bum David Akers making a 63 yard FG at Lambeau.

    This was years ago now, but I remember once looking up FG percentage against because it seemed to me that teams always made their FGs against the Packers. I looked it up, and it wasn’t even close. Indeed, Packer opponents by far had the best FG percentage. Part of this, of course, was that opposing kickers loved kicking in Lambeau and had a high make percentage there.

  3. FITZCORE1252

    I remember ‘Missin’ hitting a game winner against the iggles week 1 in what I believe was his rookie year. Aside from that, another instance doesn’t come to mind. I sweat like a whore in church when they trot that kid out there… And that’s when the game isn’t on the line. If TT and MM don’t agree to bring in a camp leg for at least a little competition, well, I really have to wonder if Missin has some compromising pics of the two or sumpin.

    GBP 4 LIFE

  4. FITZCORE1252

    Iltarion, just going off memory, it definitely does feel like opposing kickers “generally” nail their attempts at Lambeau at a higher clip than Missin. Could be that all of his misses just stand out to me more, but I doubt it.

  5. Vijay

    Who cares about the MIT…this is an easy “eyeball” test and the stats don’t lie…other kickers have to kick in similar or difficult circumstances and they connect at 80% of better. When we had Longwell he was well into the 80%+ range on accuracy…distance, not so much…but we need better accuracy and a guy who can be counted on at least half the time to kick from 40+

    There are good options in this draft…look at their #s

  6. icebowl

    Iltarion points out major flaw in MIT data…
    According to that no one should be making FGs in GB…..
    Q: Was the white paper authored by anyone w last name Crosby….?

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