Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Ravens' Justin Tucker kicks Baltimore to victory over Steelers

On the same day Adam Vinatieri broke the NFL record for most career field goals, it was fitting that the hero of Sunday night’s Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers showdown came on special teams.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco started hot, throwing two early touchdowns to put Baltimore up 14-0 on “Sunday Night Football.” The Ravens defense also stepped up, limiting Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers to zero points, four punts and an interception in the second half. But no one sealed Baltimore’s rivalry victory more than Justin Tucker, who nailed all four of his field-goal attempts and hit both extra-point tries to score more than half of the Ravens’ 26 points on the evening.

Tucker was good from 47, 49, 28 and 31 yards starting in the third quarter, and his first field goal of the night, which broke a 14-14 tie, ended up putting the Ravens ahead for good.

The seventh-year veteran is now 9-for-10 on the year and has yet to miss an extra point in his NFL career. Tucker’s poise and resume are nothing new to the Ravens, who have seen the former Texas kicker make more than 90 percent of his field goals four different times during a two-time Pro Bowl career. But the Super Bowl XLVII champion was still an obvious game-changer on Sunday night against the Steelers, with the SNF crew suggesting he’s well on pace for a Hall of Fame induction down the road.

Originally undrafted in 2012, when he joined the Ravens, Tucker has previously credited his calmness before kicks to a relationship with God. The kicker has been known to make the sign of a cross before field goals, and he said earlier in his career, according to The Baltimore Times, that his gestures pay tribute to his Christian faith.

“More than anything, it’s just to give glory and say thanks for the opportunity,” he said. “Not many people get to do what I do — only 32 guys get to do what I do. I’m just ever thankful for the opportunity whenever it presents itself. I really just ask more than anything that God’s will be done, and I’m happy with it.”

Tucker and the Ravens (3-1) will return on Oct. 7 for another divisional matchup with the Cleveland Browns.

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