Justin Tucker has been the bright spot in the NFL kicking game and for the Raven’s offense this season.
At the beginning of the 2015 season, the NFL decided to experiment with the extra-point by moving it back to the 15 yard line. This made the point after a 33 yard attempt, compared to the original 2 yard attempt. After the first season with the new rule, the percentage of extra-points made dropped from 99.4%-94%. The owners then approved for the change to be made permanent for the 2016 season. Kickers, who were thought to become irrelevant with changing rules, are suddenly impacting the game on a huge level.
To say the least, it has been a tough season to be an NFL kicker. On Sunday, kickers missed an NFL record 12 extra-points. The pressure on kickers is like no other position in the NFL. A kicker only has one job and that is to put the ball through the uprights. They either can make the attempt or miss it. There is no room for error.
With many teams worrying about their kicking status, the Ravens have not had to deal with that problem since Justin Tucker joined.
Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) kicks a field goal during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Tucker has been absolutely automatic since he joined the Ravens. He signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Texas in 2012. The Ravens were coming off a brutal AFC Championship game that featured a shanked Billy Cundiff field goal to tie the game. Needless to say, the team hasn’t looked back since.
In his first season with the team, Tucker went 30-33 from field goals, including a game winner in the AFC Divisional round against the Denver Broncos. The man has straight ice in his veins.
Inconsistencies are something that is not familiar to Justin Tucker. Through 5 seasons in the NFL he has converted an astounding 89.5% of the field goals that he has kicked. This makes him the 2nd most accurate kicker in NFL history, only behind current Cowboy’s kicker Dan Bailey. Most noteworthy, he has not missed an extra point in his career and is 23-23 this season in field goals. As a result of his success, the Ravens rewarded him with a 4-year $16.8 million deal before the start of this season.
An Offensive MVP
I can definitely say that Tucker has been one of the Raven’s best overall players and I think many others would agree. Inconsistencies from the offense have given Tucker plenty of opportunity to kick field goals. His range is unbelievable. Tucker’s career long is a 61 yard field goal that came in 2013 against the Detroit Lions. Some kickers would be lucky to convert field goals from 50 yards.
Many teams would kill to have someone who is relatively close to as accurate as Justin Tucker. I choose him as my fantasy football kicker every single year. I have no problem taking him in the early rounds, no matter how much my friends make fun of me.
Also, the man sings opera. I cannot name another NFL kicker that can do that. Justin Tucker is the definition of the complete package. The Ravens are lucky to have him as a kicker and will hopefully be able to keep him around for his entire career.