De­spite their mis­takes, spe­cial teams do job

Urban’s blocked kick and Tucker’s field goal save vic­tory

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS INSIDER - By Jeff Zrebiec

JACK­SONVILLE, FLA. — As Ja­son My­ers was lin­ing up for a 52-yard field-goal at­tempt late in the fourth quar­ter that could have given the Jack­sonville Jaguars a 4-point lead, Ravens spe­cial teams stand­out An­thony Levine Sr. knew what was about to hap­pen, he says. Levine be­lieves the Jaguars did, too. “Ev­ery time we go out there on a field-goal block, we think we’re about to block one, and even they thought we were about to block one,” Levine said af­ter the Ravens’ 19-17 vic­tory over the Jaguars at EverBank Field. “They were like, ‘Just so you all know, you ain’t block­ing this, you ain’t block­ing this.’ They lined up and they were say­ing it.”

Sure enough, Brent Urban blocked one, and for the sec­ond straight week, a blocked kick proved to be one of the key plays in a Ravens’ vic­tory. Urban’s sec­ond ca­reer block, and Justin Tucker’s 54-yard field goal, sal­vaged an un­even day for the team’s nor­mally con­sis­tent spe­cial teams group.

“There’s def­i­nitely but­ter­flies, but [long snap­per Mor­gan Cox] dropped some wis- dom on me right be­fore we went out on the field,” said Tucker who has 12 ca­reer game-win­ning field goals, eight of them on the road. “It was a line from ‘ Sand­lot’: ‘He­roes will be re­mem­bered. Leg­ends never die.’ Yeah, it might be lit­tle bit dra­matic, you know, it’s a foot­ball game, but that’s how we feel.”

For three-plus quar­ters, it ap­peared that the Ravens spe­cial teams were go­ing to be one of the rea­sons the vis­i­tors were go­ing to come up short. The unit had three penal­ties, in­clud­ing flags on Cox on back-to-back plays in punt cov­er­age. The first, a hold­ing call, pre­vented the Jaguars from start­ing their first pos­ses­sion in­side their own 5.

In the sec­ond quar­ter, the Ravens’ punt cov­er­age team al­lowed a 42-yard re­turn by Rashad Greene that set up Jack­sonville’s first score, a 3-yard touch­down pass from Blake Bor­tles to Allen Robin­son.

“That’s some­thing we never want to do,” Levine said of the long re­turn. “We never want to give that up.”

Re­turn man Devin Hester Sr. then com­mit­ted the big­gest gaffe of all. With the Ravens cling­ing to a 16-14 lead with more than nine min­utes to play, Hester tried to cor­ral a punt by Brad Nort­man as gun­ner


Jaguars play­ers cel­e­brate as De­nard Robin­son, mid­dle, re­cov­ers a punt dropped by Devin Hester, right, in the fourth quar­ter. The play set up a field goal that gave Jack­sonville a17-16 lead.

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