the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, November 11, 2013

NFL Week Ten: Justin Tucker Before, During & After Game Winning Kick

Baltimore edged Cincinnati 20-17 in overtime, on a 46 yard field goal. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker foresaw the kick earlier in the game.
"As soon as they scored their first touchdown to bring them within seven. [Kicking coach] Randy [Brown] smiles at me, and I smile right back at him. He says, ‘You and I are the only two people in this stadium that know exactly what’s up right now. Sure enough, the game comes down to three points in overtime. We feel like we’re a team that’s built for these types of games. That’s how all of these AFC North games tend to be, in my limited experience in them. They tend to be dog fights. At the same time, I think they’re the most the fun games to be a part of.”
The kick itself came on a blustery day in which the Bengals opted not to attempt a long field goal earlier in overtime. Tucker said of the wind:
“I wouldn’t say worried, but we always take it into consideration. We go out in pre-game, and we try to get a pretty good gauge on what the wind is doing. This isn’t unusual. We do this every game- what the wind is doing, what the rain is doing, what the field is like. So, we have a plan going into the game, and at the end of the game, we wanted to have the win, but obviously some of that’s up to the coin toss. We ended up getting the wind behind us, it was kind of a cross-wind. We had a plan. The ball wasn’t going to move too much. We just figured we’d just hit it as close down the middle as possible and give it a shot.”
Afterward, Tucker was happy.
“I was standing on the sideline right next to Kyle Juszczyk at one point, and I said to him, ‘A lot of people say if you play long enough in this league, you’ll experience just about everything.’ And I told him last year, just in one year and this first half of the season, I feel like I personally have experienced just so much. But you never know when something crazy will happen, and then literally, like the next play, A.J. Green catches that ball in the back of the end zone. So, he says to me, going out to kick off in overtime, he’s just like, ‘You play in this league long enough, anything can happen.’ What’s cool about this team is everybody seems to have their mind and their heart in the right place. Nobody really batted an eye. I mean, of course, there’s going to be frustrating parts of any game, and there’s also going to be times when you’re going to experience elation and joy. But as professionals, it’s our duty to put all that aside and forget about the emotion of the game [and] just go out there and do our jobs. I’m happy right now. I feel like I did that for my team. But at the same time, now our eyes are focused on next week’s opponent and trying to improve upon our record and give ourselves a chance to be in it at the end of the whole thing.”

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