GREEN BAY – As a new way to review the recently completed season, Packers.com has compiled a select list of “Peak Performances” in various categories.
Here are the top five on special teams, recapped in chronological order. Be sure to watch the video highlights package, and vote for your favorite in the poll at the bottom of the page.
(Last week’s winner for the defense was Clay Matthews, Mike Neal and Nick Perry at Washington in the NFC wild-card playoff.)
Ty Montgomery at Chicago, Week 1
Looking to spark a kickoff-return unit that ranked near the bottom of the league in 2014, the Packers’ rookie third-round draft pick got 2015 off to a great start. He had kickoff returns of 41 and 46 yards, already tying and beating the team’s longest kickoff returns from the prior year. The 46-yarder set up a touchdown that gave the Packers the lead for good in the second half.
Mason Crosby at Minnesota, Week 11
The Packers’ veteran kicker was simply outstanding in an impressive bounce-back performance. One week after missing a 52-yard try that would have beaten the Lions on the final play of the game, Crosby tied his personal and franchise records with a perfect 5-for-5 performance, all from long distance – 42, 47, 40, 42 and 52 yards.
Jeff Janis vs. Dallas, Week 14
Cowboys punt returner Lucky Whitehead found out how quickly Janis was becoming one of the league’s top punt gunners. Not once but twice, Janis was right in Whitehead’s face as he fielded punts and dropped him for a loss. Janis added a shared tackle with teammate Demetri Goodson on another coverage tackle for loss. It’s a wonder Whitehead didn’t start calling fair catches sooner.
Mason Crosby vs. Minnesota, Week 17
It was a typical game for Crosby, with two field goals and two touchbacks in the chilly winter evening conditions, and then he made a play that made kickers everywhere proud. Just after nailing a 43-yard field goal to get the Packers within seven points, Crosby snuck up behind Vikings’ return man Cordarrelle Patterson at the end of a long return and swatted the ball out. Micah Hyde recovered for Green Bay, and, for the time being, Crosby had saved the day.
Tim Masthay at Washington, NFC wild-card playoff
An up-and-down year for Masthay included setting the franchise record for net punt average, with a 40.2 mark in the regular season. Masthay was even better in the playoff opener with a 44.0-yard net on four punts at FedExField, including a booming 55-yarder midway through the fourth quarter that was fair-caught at the Washington 9-yard line, putting any Redskins comeback hopes in serious doubt.