Justin Tucker gives Ravens a kick

Justin Tucker gives Ravens a kick
November 25, 2013, 5:45 pm
Share This Post

Ravens know it's must-win here on out

The best football teams always seem to have dependable kickers. It's been a fact of life in the NFL for a long time. 

That's why the emergence of Justin Tucker as a very good rookie kicker helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl last year. Tucker has continued to do just as well this season, now hitting 22 consecutive field goals after making four in Sunday's 19-3 win over the Jets. 

But the importance of having a dependable kicker can't be overlooked. In fact, coach John Harbaugh said after Sunday's game that Tucker's field goals really give the Ravens a boost-- especially the four he nailed in Sunday's win. 

[RELATED: More on the line in Ravens-Steelers than just pride]

"Those kicks were huge," Harbaugh said. "Those were tough kicks. They're always tough kicks."

In fact, Tucker's even more valuable this year because the offense isn't nearly as effective as it was last season. He's hitting kicks from all over the place and, lately, in not-so-great conditions. 

During the win on Sunday, Tucker's longest kick, from 53 yards came late in the third quarter. That was tough also because the wind was picking up on a very cold afternoon when the wind chill hung in the low 20's.

"More than anything, I’m just glad it went through," Tucker said. "They’re expecting me to put three points on the board no matter where it’s from. I was pretty pumped up to hit that ball, and as soon as it left my foot, I had no doubt.” 

Tucker adds even more to the team's offense this season because of their problems. If he was inconsistent this year, it would have caused the offense more issues. But he's been on target the entire season and shows no signs of slowing down.