Justin Tucker's prowess as a long-range field goal kicker apparently has really gotten some notice around the NFL. What took place in Sunday's Pro Bowl sure showed that.
Tucker missed a 67-yard field goal on the game's final play as Team Rice edged Team Sanders, 22-21, at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii. This comes after he missed a 66-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.
Both field goals came up just a little short. The one at game's end was heading directly for the left upright, but fell about 4-5 yards short and was caught in the end zone. The idea for those two long field goals likely came from the way Tucker nailed a 61-yard field goal to give the Ravens a key late-season win over Detroit.
But in addition, Tucker finished the season having made 38 of 41 field goals-- including 33 straight at one point. He made an impressive 6-for-7 kicks from 50 yards or longer, something that really helped the Ravens this season as their offense struggled throughout.
The question here as I watched the Pro Bowl was this: going after those very long field goals would have been great drama on TV, but was it worth it?
What would the Ravens have thought if Tucker pulled or tore a muscle in his leg or hip trying those long kicks? Now, granted, the team won't be playing another game for probably seven months, so he'd certainly have the time to recover, but it could have happened. And to have it happen in a useless game would have been worse.