If the Ravens had a Pro Bowl snub, kicker
The rookie free agent made 29 of 31 field goal attempts this season, giving him the third-highest success percentage in the league at 93.5.
He had three successful field goals from beyond 50 yards (including a long of 56 yards) and game-winning kicks in the final seconds or overtime against the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers.
Tucker boomed 48 touchbacks, which is the fifth-most in the NFL.
However, the AFC’s Pro Bowl representative will be Cleveland 14-year veteran Phil Dawson. It will be Dawson’s first Pro Bowl despite consistently being one of the league’s best kickers (he received Cleveland’s franchise tag).
Dawson made 28 of 29 attempts, giving him the second-best percentage (96.6) behind Washington’s Kai Forbath, who has made all 17 of his attempts since replacing Billy Cundiff, who was a Pro Bowler with the Ravens in 2010.
Dawson, who kicks in the often windy and cold Cleveland Browns Stadium, made four attempts from 50 yards or more with a long of 53. He didn’t boom nearly as many touchbacks (29) as Tucker, however.
Dawson and Tucker actually share a connection. Tucker cites Dawson (a fellow former Texas Longhorn) as one of his mentors, and someone who he has reached out to for advice.
Ravens Special Teams Coach Jerry Rosburg, who coached Dawson in Cleveland, was happy for him.
“I think the guy that made it has long been deserving of a Pro Bowl berth; Phil Dawson has been a great kicker in the league for a long time,” Rosburg said.
Rosburg said Tucker has had a “tremendous year,” and indicated that it may be just a matter of time until the rookie free agent heads to Hawaii.
“I think Justin understands that it is not an easy honor to get,” Rosburg said. “And if he keeps performing like he has been performing, Justin will be in Pro Bowls down the road.
“The good news is Justin understands he’s in the playoffs, and he’s in the AFC North champion’s locker room, and so that’s always a good thing.”