Crosby's free kick attempt fails

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay's Mason Crosby missed an attempt at the longest field goal in NFL history on a free kick to end the first half of Sunday's game with the Lions.

With Green Bay leading 14-7, Packers punt returner Will Blackmon called for a fair catch as time expired at the Green Bay 41. That allowed the team to try the free kick.

The Lions, trying to avoid becoming the first 0-16 team in league history, began leaving the field despite the repeated announcement by referee Ed Hochuli that the half was not over.

After several minutes, the Packers took the kick and Crosby's 69-yard effort from the hold of Matt Flynn bounced just short of the base of the goal post.

The seldom-used rule allows a receiving team the option to put the ball in play by a snap or a free kick with the defense at least 10 yards off the line of scrimmage.

It was the first such kick attempt since Neil Rackers' 68-yard try on Nov. 23 against the Giants. Before that, Tennessee's Rob Bironas missed a 58-yarder on Oct. 9, 2005.

The last successful attempt was by Bears kicker Mac Percival, who hit a winning field goal in the final minute to beat the Packers 13-10 on Nov. 3, 1968.

"I remember it, it was 43 yards to win the game," Packers historian Lee Remmel said. "It was definitely an unusual kick to most people, but not to me."