GREEN BAY – Mason Crosby wasn’t sure what happened.
“I flat missed it,” the Packers kicker said of his 52-yard attempt on the final play of Sunday’s 18-16 loss to the Lions at Lambeau Field.
“I think I caught a little turf behind the ball. Disappointed. We had a chance to win there.”
Crosby’s kick looked like a knuckleball as it crossed the line of scrimmage. It changed direction so quickly it appeared as though it was blocked at first. It wasn’t close. All that matters is it was a miss, just his second of the season (12-of-14) and first since Week 4.
“Just get it done,” Crosby said of his thoughts when he got a shot at a game-winner after his high-bouncing onside kick was recovered by the Packers with 31 seconds left. “Go out there and do my thing. I’ve been hitting the ball great this year. I felt really good on it. I’ve got to come through there.
“Obviously, with how the ball came off, I don’t know, my plant must not have been in the right spot.”
Punter and holder Tim Masthay said he talked to Crosby afterward and has every confidence he’ll bounce back, as he has before. Both Masthay and Crosby said the field was rather “chewed up” between the hash marks, especially at the south end where Crosby tried the final kick.
Lions kicker Matt Prater missed two extra-point attempts in the game, one at each end of the field. He also made field goals of 49 and 51 yards, and Crosby made a 44-yarder.
“I know the footing wasn’t great in between the hashes,” Masthay said. “Did that play a role? I don’t know.”
Big recovery: Crosby’s onside spike-kick was executed to perfection, with the chop down on the top of the ball creating a high bounce that Lions receiver Calvin Johnson couldn’t handle.
Leaping high in the air amidst a sea of bodies, Johnson had the ball bounce off his shoulder pad, and Packers rookie cornerback Damarious Randall was there to snag it, giving Green Bay one last life.
Randall’s only thought at that point was to protect the ball.
“Make sure I don’t let them take the ball from me,” he said. “In those scuffles, the referee really doesn’t see much, so I was just trying to hold onto the ball.”
It was the Packers’ first successful recovery of their own onside kick since Week 9 of 2013, when linebacker Jamari Lattimore did it against the Bears.
Tight end production: For the second straight game, both of Aaron Rodgers’ touchdown passes went to tight ends.
Last week, Richard Rodgers had his first career two-TD game. This week, Rodgers and Justin Perillo each caught a TD pass, with Perillo’s being the first of his career.
Richard Rodgers now has seven career TD receptions, second most in team history for a tight end in his first two seasons. Bubba Franks had 10 in 2000-01.
Injury update: The Packers reported three injuries after the game.
Left tackle David Bakhtiari exited the game with a knee injury. He was replaced by Don Barclay.
Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who had his second interception of the season, was being evaluated for a concussion.
Receiver Jared Abbrederis, who had his first NFL receptions (four for 57 yards), left with an injury to his ribs after taking a hit at the end of his 32-yard grab in the fourth quarter.
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