Ravens K Justin Tucker re­mains perfect

Kicker made three field goals from beyond 50 yards

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— Justin Tucker be­came the ninth kicker in NFL his­tory to make three field goals from beyond 50 yards in a sin­gle game Sun­day.

He be­came the first to do it in a sin­gle half.

Tucker went 4-4 on Sun­day, con­nect­ing on kicks of 52, 57, 54 and 36 yards dur­ing the Baltimore Ravens’ 19-14 win over the Cincin­nati Ben­gals. He has now made all 27 of his field goal at­tempts on the sea­son.

“It’s def­i­nitely good to be do­ing well. I have great peo­ple around me. I have the best snap­per, the best holder and punter in foot­ball and they make my job so much eas­ier,” Tucker said. “To be on this sort of a roll that we are on now is good, but it doesn’t end to­day. It hope­fully will not end at the end of De­cem­ber or the first part of Jan­uary.”

The 52-yard kick came in the first quar­ter. Tucker hit from 57 yards away with 1:45 left in the first half and drilled his 52-yarder as the sec­ond quar­ter ex­pired.

Head coach John Harbaugh said he con­sid­ered punt­ing, but that Tucker and

BALTIMORE

special teams co­or­di­na­tor Jerry Ros­burg con­vinced him to try the 57-yard field goal.

“I just kind of ran out there and fig­ured they would have to drive me off if they didn’t want to kick it,” Tucker said.

It was the sec­ond long­est field goal in Ravens his­tory. Tucker holds the fran­chise record as well (61 yards).

Tucker has now made seven field goals from 50-plus yards this sea­son, which breaks his own fran­chise record.

Sev­eral Ravens stated that Baltimore has the league’s best kicker fol­low­ing the win. If Tucker’s suc­cess wasn’t enough to prove that point, they were re­minded when Ben­gals kicker Mike Nu­gent missed an ex­tra point in the third quar­ter.

“The stats don’t lie. He’s at 100 per­cent,” line­backer C.J. Mosley said. “When our of­fense stalls out, we’re still putting points on the board.”

Baltimore signed Tucker to a new con­tract be­fore the sea­son that in­cluded the most guar­an­teed money ever paid to a kicker.

“We’ve got the best kicker in the league. There’s no doubt about it, but we’ve got to keep the young kid hum­ble,” line­backer Ter­rell Suggs said. “I told him when I came back, I’ve never seen a kicker make some con­tract de­mands, but I guess when you’re the best kicker in the league you can do that. It’s great to have, like I said be­fore, a kicker with ice in his veins.”

Quar­ter­back Joe Flacco joked that keep­ing Tucker hum­ble is im­pos­si­ble.

“There’s no way,” he said. “He’s earned the right to feel the way that he feels about him­self, but he’d feel that way any­way. There’s no way to keep him down, man.”

Tucker replied that it’s great to have the sup­port of his team­mates.

Tucker has made 34-straight field goal at­tempts dat­ing back to last sea­son, the NFL’s long­est ac­tive streak. He’s two away from the Ravens’ record of 36 set by Matt Stover.

Tucker was crit­i­cized dur­ing train­ing camp for say­ing that he thinks he’s ca­pa­ble of mak­ing a kick that would shat­ter the NFL record by more than 10 yards. On Sun­day, he did not back down from that claim.

“Throw­ing out a bunch of hy­po­thet­i­cal num­bers in the pre­sea­son, I got a bunch of flack for it, but I’ll dou­ble­down on it,” he said. “It’s in the realm of pos­si­bil­ity for me, with Mor­gan [Cox] and Sam [Koch] to hit the ball from well across mid­field. We’re talk­ing about 70-75 yards.”

Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

(KEN­NETH K. LAM/BALTIMORE SUN/TNS)

Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker cel­e­brates af­ter kick­ing a 52-yard field goal against the Cincin­nati Ben­gals in the first quar­ter on Sun­day at M&T Bank Sta­dium in Baltimore. Tucker suc­cess­fully kicked three field goals over 50 yards in the first half against the Ben­gals. Baltimore dropped Cincin­nati, 19-14.

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