Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Zach Kruse

Packers rookie Anders Carlson passes first December test with perfect night vs. Chiefs

Being the kicker for the Green Bay Packers inevitably means having to kick a rock-hard football in cold weather outdoor games. For years and years, the franchise’s best and most reliable kickers — Chris Jacke, Ryan Longwell and Mason Crosby, for example — got the job done in the winter conditions at Lambeau Field.

In his first December test in Green Bay, rookie Anders Carlson was perfect on Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Not only did Carlson make all three of his extra points, snapping a three-game streak with at least one miss, but he also connected on two late clutch field goals that gave the Packers much-needed breathing room during what ended up being a 27-19 win over the defending Super Bowl champs in primetime.

Carlson hit from 40 yards to extend the lead to 24-19 with just over six minutes to go and hit again from 48 yards out to push the lead to eight points with just over a minute left.

Had Carlson missed either field goal, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs would have been handed a golden opportunity to go steal the game. Instead, Carlson made both kicks and gave Mahomes nothing more than a chance to tie the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion. Neither happened.

Carlson’s 48-yarder was struck well and right down the middle. The ball crossed nearly three-quarters of the way up the uprights. A no-doubter.

It was 31 degrees with 10 mile-per-hour winds at kickoff in Green Bay — mostly mild for winter in Wisconsin — but snow impacted the area throughout Sunday and temps dropped during the primetime showdown.

Like the team overall, Carlson has ridden the rollercoaster in 2023. He was perfect on field goals and extra points through the first five games. He then missed a field goal in four of the next six games and had crucial missed extra points against the Steelers, Chargers and Lions.

But when the moment arrived for Carlson out in the cold at Lambeau Field and with the entire football world watching, the rookie delivered. Not once, but twice.

Like so many others on this team, Carlson rewarded the Packers’ patience.

Now, with four of the last five games of the regular season outdoors, including what could be a bitterly cold season finale against the Bears, the Packers will need Carlson to build confidence, continue beating the elements and reliably make kicks in December and January during a playoff push.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.