For the Green Bay Packers, the 2018 NFL season ended with a 31-0 shellacking home loss to the Detroit Lions. This was a forgettable season for the franchise. One of the most significant issues that plagued the Packers was a consistently weak special teams unit. The Green Bay Packers must fire Special Teams coach Ron Zook as he was incapable of coaching the unit.
Green Bay Packers Special Teams Not So Special
Mason Crosby’s Worst Game
The Detroit Lions won the first meeting of the season between these two NFC North rivals. The main reason behind that win was Packers kicker Mason Crosby’s inexplicable meltdown in Motown. That afternoon he missed four kicks and an extra point out of six scoring opportunities. Unfortunately, his misses cost the Green Bay Packers a divisional win since the Lions won the game by eight points, 31-23.
Crosby is a great kicker who showed it the rest of the season by not falling apart after this disastrous performance. However, that game still lingers. And, who knows, maybe it did affect him on another critical kick that resulted in a home loss, nonetheless, although that game was clearly not his fault.
The Arizona Cardinals Missed Field Goal
This one hurts because it was a game-tying field goal attempt to send the game to overtime. Once again, this loss is not on Crosby. The entire team was awful that day. But Crosby missed a last-second chance at extending the game for his team and keeping the playoffs hope alive.
Ty Montgomery’s Fumble
This is the most infamous entry on the list and will always live Packer fans with a “what if” scenario. What if Aaron Rodgers had one more possession? One more drive to win a game few thought Green Bay had any business winning?
You know the story. The Rams kickoff with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter. Scoreboard says 29-27 home team. Green Bay’s all-time great quarterback gets a chance to kick-start the season and salvage some bad performances. It would, unfortunately, end differently as Montgomery tried to return the kick and fumbled the ball. The Rams recovered, and the game was over.
The New England Patriots costly penalty
Following the Los Angeles Rams loss, Green Bay traveled to Foxboro to play the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. In the third quarter, Packers rookie tight end Robert Tonyan was called for a roughing the kicker penalty on Patriots on punter Ryan Allen.
While New England was not able to capitalize off of that penalty, it cost Green Bay. The Packers would have had the ball at their 31-yard line instead they received it inside their 10-yard line.
What difference does it make? Well on the ensuing drive, Aaron Jones fumbled the ball in the red zone. It is another “what if” scenario. If Green Bay starts at the 31 and scores, the Packers have the lead 24-17 early in the fourth quarter.
Field position is crucial in close games.
The New York Jets Meltdown
In week 16, the Packers traveled to East Rutherford to battle with the New York Jets. And, once again, the Green Bay Packers special teams unit was not ready to play. They were out of sync, out of tune, and frankly, looked completely lost on that football field.
New York Jets kick returner Andre Roberts ended the Jets seven-year NFL All-Pro selection droughts. He totaled 203 returned yards on four kick returns, which averages out to 50.8 yards per return. He also returned a 99-yard kickoff to the house in the second quarter.
These errors almost cost them the game, but fortunately for the Green and Gold, Aaron Rodgers was wearing his cape.
The Green Bay Packers must fire Special Teams coach Ron Zook. His unit was undisciplined and unprepared to play throughout the season. The group made too many blunders to brush it under the carpet under the “it’s a one-time thing.”
Grant it the rest of the team was underwhelming, at times, it still does not excuse the many errors, missed tackles, penalties, and game-losing deciding plays the special teams unit made or did not make.
Special teams are one-third of football, and this third failed miserably
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