Incredible stuff tonight, this is what the ESPN announcer called the evening on Monday Night Football as the Baltimore Ravens slipped by the Detroit Lions for the win 18-16. This win keeps the Ravens alive in the wildcard race. Justin Tucker — or as I like to call him “Swag-omatic” — came through big on a 61-yarder to close out the game with 38 seconds left on the clock. A win is a win, but Baltimore needs to finish drives with touchdowns and not rely on the former Texas Longhorn to kick the three.
Tucker connected on six field goals; Yes, I said six! Tucker hit from 29, 24, 32, 49, 53 and 61, putting the Ravens on his back and carrying them to victory. This is the most FGs in one game by a Raven in team history. I have always admired Tucker and was glad to see him beat out Billy Cundiff for the job last year. Tucker has definitely made the most of his opportunity in Baltimore.
With all of the praise out of the way, is this really how the Ravens want to slip into the postseason — with a satisfactory run game, inconsistent red zone efficiency and riding the kicker all the way through the game? I am very familiar with the saying “by an inch or mile, winning is wining,” but wow, can the team at least get points next week that don’t all come by Tucker’s leg?
Joe Flacco had this to say in an interview with NFL Network’s Amber Theoharis about Tucker and red zone efficiency:
“We see him do it every day in practice, the kicks today were huge…we’re hit or miss in the red zone right now…the good thing is that we’re getting points and we have a kicker we can rely on but we just have to get a little better down there so we can pull ahead in some of these games and let our defense really go.”
I know the Ravens will pick up the pieces on offense next week at least in the passing game as they face the 18th ranked pass defense in the league in the New England Patriots. If all else fails at least we know there is an automatic-leg sitting on the sidelines ready to pull the Ravens out of another mess.