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Green Bay Packers won't kick Mason Crosby to curb

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy still isn't punting his kicker, Mason Crosby.

"We're not changing our kicker, so you can write that down right now," McCarthy said Sunday, via the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "He's our guy. He needs to make those kicks. He knows that. We're at that time of year."

It's commendable for McCarthy to stick up for his kicker, but as the playoffs approach, Crosby's shakiness must be eating at the coach. Crosby is 17 of 29 on field-goal attempts this season for a pathetic 58.6 percent -- the next closest is San Francisco 49ers kicker David Akers at 71.4 percent.

Crosby also has missed a field-goal try in each of the last six games, including 43- and 42-yarders in Sunday's 21-13 victory over the Chicago Bears.

It's gotten to the point where the Packers rarely try long field goals. On fourth-and-6 to start the third quarter at the 26-yard line, they went for it instead of attempting a 43-yard field goal. The decision was obvious: McCarthy trusts Aaron Rodgers' arm more than Crosby's leg.

"I can't sit and sulk, think about missed kicks, because I have to make kicks and we're going to get to the playoffs and there's going to be some big ones down the line here," Crosby said.

The Packers clinched the NFC North on Sunday, but in the playoffs, against good defenses, they won't have the luxury to pass on points. Crosby will have to turn it around and get back to being the kicker he has been in previous seasons (he's at 76.3 percent for his NFL career), or his coach's loyalty ultimately could cost the team.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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