The Green Bay Packers have had two starting quarterbacks since 1992 when Brett Favre took over in Week 3 for an injured Don Majkowski. But there is another position that has been stable for even longer for the Packers: kicker.
In 1988, the Packers had four place kickers on their roster and none of them did particularly well. Max Zendejas played in eight games and hit just 56.3 percent of his field goals while missing two extra points. Dale Dawson was active for four games and connected on 60 percent of his field goals while missing one of two PATs. Dean Dorsey played three games and made just 1-of-3 field goals and 1-of-2 extra points. Curtis Burrow played just one game, missed his only field goal try and went just 2-for-4 on extra points.
Packers Kicker 1: Chris Jacke (1989-96)
So, in 1989, the Packers drafted Chris Jacke out of UTEP. He held the kicking job through the 1996 season and hit 77.2 percent of his field goals and 98.4 percent of his extra points in eight seasons with Green Bay. He was also the kicker on the team’s 1996 Super Bowl winning team.
Jacke solved the team’s kicking problems and gave the Pack a consistent performer at this critical position.
When he left the Packers, Jacke was the franchise’s all-time leader in field goals and second on the franchise’s list with 820 points, just five behind Hall of Famer Don Hutson who retired after the 1945 season.
Kicker 2: Ryan Longwell (1997-2005)
In 1997, the Packers replaced Jacke with Ryan Longwell. The former Cal kicker spent nine seasons with the Packers. The Pack went to Super Bowl XXXII in his first season with the team but fell to the Denver Broncos and were denied a repeat of the previous year.
Longwell became the first player in Packers history to top 1,000 points for his career with the franchise, ending his tenure in Green Bay after the 2005 campaign. He finished with 1,054 points which was a new Packers record. He also held the team record for field goals and extra points at the time he left the Pack and moved on to kick for the Minnesota Vikings.
Packers Kicker 3: Dave Rayner (2006)
In 2006, the Packers signed Dave Rayner who was drafted the previous season by the Indianapolis Colts. He is the only kicker on this list not to stay with the Packers long-term as he lasted only one season in Green Bay.
The Michigan State alum made 74.3 percent of his field goals and 31-of-32 PATs with the Packers including a 54-yard boot, but he was just 9-of-14 from 40 yards or more and the Packers moved on from him after the 2006 season was over.
Rayner bounced around the league after that, playing on six more teams through the 2011 season before his NFL career ended.
Kicker Number 4: Mason Crosby (2007-2022)
The Packers drafted Mason Crosby in the sixth round in 2007 to replace Rayner. The Colorado product certainly made a name for himself over his 16 seasons as the Packers kicker.
Crosby set new franchise records for field goals, extra points, and total points, finishing his career with 1,918, almost double Longwell’s previous record.
He often came through in the clutch and was particularly good at kicking in the windy and cold conditions at Lambeau Field late in the season and in the playoffs.
Crosby never made the Pro Bowl, but he did connect on 81.4 percent of his field goals and 97.3 percent of his extra point tries while scoring 100 or more points in 15 of his 16 seasons with the franchise.
He was also the kicker in the Packers win over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.
A New Era Begins
In 2023, GM Brian Gutekunst drafted Anders Carlson in the sixth round of the draft to replace Crosby. Carlson’s brother had worked with special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia with the Raiders and the Auburn product hopes to be the next long-term kicker in Green Bay.
In the last 34 years, the Packers have had just four regular kickers. Carlson hopes to continue that tradition of consistency at one of the least stable positions in the NFL.
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