the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

NFL Week 15: Justin Tucker Kicks and Kicks and Kicks and...

The kicking began in pregame warmups for Ravens kicker Justin Tucker.
"I backed up in pregame to 70 and I doinked one off the crossbar. I almost broke one of those like $50,000 cameras that's on the goalposts."
In the game, which Baltimore won 18-16 over Detroit, Tucker accounted for all of his team's points. He gave them a 9-7 half time lead, after second quarter field goals of 29, 24 & 32 yards. In the second half he started going longer, beginning with a 49 yarder in the third quarter. He opened the fourth quarter scoring  with a 53 yard field goal. He save the biggest for last, after the Lions had taken a late one point lead. With 38 seconds remaining, Tucker hit a 61 yard game winner.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said of the final kick:
“I thought we had a real good shot at it. What we wanted to do was run up there and make it appear that we were going to run a play perhaps and try to get the clock run down as low as we possibly could. I got a little antsy and called a timeout because I just wanted to make sure that we didn’t flinch or anything like that....

“What can you say about Justin Tucker? He told me when we got the ball, I think at the [Lions'] 45-yard line, I said, ‘hey, are we kicking this' or should I got for it on fourth-and-10? And he said, 'I got it'. He kind of ordered me to kick it."
Afterward, Tucker confirmed he had given the orders.
“I wanted [Harbaugh] to know that just by looking at me, he shouldn't have any reservations about sending me out there. [The coaches] were talking about it and I normally wouldn't do this but I interjected and said, ‘No, I got this.' Thankfully they gave me an opportunity and the best part of it is I didn't have to come back to the sideline feeling like a jerk if I missed it....

I definitely felt like I got a lot of leg into it, but it jumped up so high that I thought I might have gotten under it just a little bit. But when it cleared the crossbar and I saw one of the officials put his hands up, I [was] a little surprised but at the end of the day, I'm just glad it went through.”
While Ravens fans were obviously happy with the outcome, there was some other people pleased with the six field goals, as Tucker himself noted:
"My fantasy team is benefiting from it. Fantasy owners around the world: I hope you appreciate the points."

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