Tucker's 66-Yard FG Makes Case For Play Of The Season

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Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker celebrates his record-breaking game-winning field goal against Detroit
Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker celebrates his record-breaking game-winning field goal against Detroit

Justin Tucker’s 66-yard field goal game-winner over the Detroit Lions has to be the early favorite for play of the season.

The Baltimore Ravens had been leading the game the whole way until Lions kicker Ryan Santoso gave his team the 17-16 lead with a minute and four seconds remaining in the game.

With no timeouts remaining, on 4th-and-19 at the 25-yard line, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson had to go for it all and found Sammy Watkins alone in the middle of the field.

Three seconds on the clock and with the game on the line, Tucker took three steps back, one extra from his usual two-step kicking rhythm, and prepared to go for the win at 66 yards.

Longsnapper Nick Moore tossed the ball to longtime Ravens punter Sam Koch, and Tucker threw all of his weight into his leg, seemingly kicking through the ball.

It soared for what seemed like ages, then hitting the horizontal bar of the goalpost before gracefully spinning towards the back of the net.

Speaking to the media after the game, Tucker was asked whether he thought it was going in or not.

“I knew I was going to have the chance. It felt really, really good coming off my foot,” said the most accurate kicker in NFL history.

“Anytime you’re on the other side of midfield, there’s a little bit more of a question mark even if you smoke the ball. Is it going to get there? I saw it hit the crossbar and then bounce through and then I just felt like I was floating.”

Prior to the game, Tucker tried to kick a field goal from 65 yards on two attempts, and both were well short.

Tucker now holds the NFL record for the longest field goal scored (whether in a domed stadium or in the open air) at 66 yards, beating Arizona Cardinals kicker Matt Prater’s record of 64 yards he logged back in 2013.

However, the record is just icing on the cake for a man who has made a career of kicking field goals look basic.

Signed by the Ravens in 2012 as a replacement for Billy Cundiff, Tucker began accumulating accolades left and right, including being voted unanimously into the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.

He is the first NFL kicker to kick three 50+ yard field goals in one half, the fastest kicker to reach 1,000 points in NFL history.

In addition, his 90.7 percent field goal kicking is the most accurate in NFL history, among many others honors and accolades.

For making a field goal in such conditions, Tucker’s game-winner has a great shot at being named as the play of the season.

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