LOOK: Justin Tucker tries to talk the Ravens into attempting a 72-yard field goal
If Justin Tucker gets his way, there’s a good chance the Ravens kicker is going to attempt at least one ridiculously long field goal before the preseason is over. Unfortunately for Tucker though, that chance didn’t come on Thursday despite a seemingly perfect situation for a long kick.
With four seconds to go until halftime, the Ravens had the ball at their own 46-yard line, which, for most teams, means you either throw a Hail Mary or kneel the ball to run out the clock. Of course, the Ravens aren’t most teams, because they happen to have a bionic kicker who could conceivably make a field goal from that distance.
If a team were to try a field goal from their own 46-yard line, that would end being a 72-yard attempt. Although Tucker knew that the Ravens coaching staff was probably going to shoot him down, he still tried to plead his case to special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg.
As you can see below, Tucker really, really, wanted to attempt the kick.
Even though it might sound kind of crazy to let a kicker attempt a 72-yard field goal, it’s actually a realistic kick with Tucker. Not only did the Ravens kickerfor the Pro Bowl in January, but he also hit a 70-yarder while warming for Thursday’s game in Miami.
“There was a little bit of lobbying involved, but at the end of the day, we elected to hand the ball off and go into halftime,” Tucker said after the game, via the team’s official website. “It’s a decision I certainly respect.”
Tucker actually sounded pretty confident that he would’ve made the kick.
“It would’ve been 72, and you really got to juice it to get it there from 72. I was counting on the adrenaline rush,” Tucker said. “Regardless of the fact that we’re playing a preseason game, you want to do well and you want to crush every single ball.”
So why’d the Ravens coaching staff shoot down Tucker’s idea?
Apparently, there was some concern about what would happen if the kick fell short.
“At the end of the half, there is a possible return to consider, and you’re essentially covering a kickoff at that point,” Tucker said. “If the ball lands at the very back of the end zone from 72… you’ve got a bunch of offense linemen covering that against a regular defense. That’s kind of a tough thing to put on all the big guys, make them run 70 yards downfield and try and tackle a 190-pound DB. It’s not the easiest thing in the world.”
By the way, if you think a 72-yard kick sounds far, Tucker claims he once made a 79-yard attempt during warmups before a game against the Broncos.
“In practice I’ve hit from 79 yards,” Tucker said. “That was in Denver before our opener in September . The weather was perfect; the field was good. With the altitude in the Rocky Mountains, the ball jumps off your foot.”
Tucker now seems to think he can hit an 84-yard field goal, and he might not be wrong.
Only 16 kickers in NFL history have ever hit a field goal of 60 yards or more in a regular season game, and one of those kickers is Tucker, who nailed a 61-yarder against Detroit in December 2013. Lions kicker Matt Prater holds the NFL record thanks to a 64-yard kick he made while playing for the Broncos in 2013.
As for Tucker, even though he didn’t get to try the 72-yard field goal, he was still the biggest weapon for the Ravens during their 31-7 win over the Dolphins. Not only did Tucker hit three field goals (52, 27, 41), but he also recovered a fumble on a kickoff.
After the game, Tucker actually seemed somewhat disappointed that he didn’t score a touchdown on the play.
“I was thinking scoop-seven,” Tucker said, via the team’s website. “Not a lot of guys can say that. It would have been pretty sweet.”
Tucker might end up being the Ravens’ best weapon in 2017, and he’s starting to sound like a guy who I need to select in the first round of my fantasy draft.