Skip to main content

Justin Tucker Delivers 'Dagger' In Pittsburgh


As Joe Flacco jogged off the field after his final snap Thursday, the Ravens had a decision to make.

They could line up on Pittsburgh's 35-yard line and try to draw the Steelers offsides for a first down or let kicker Justin Tucker have first crack at a record-breaking attempt.

"Just let Tucker win the game," Flacco told the coaches.

Tucker delivered, nailing a 52-yard field goal in overtime to cap the Ravens' massive 23-20 victory in Pittsburgh. It's the longest field goal at Heinz Field in five years, and Tucker left the stadium with the ball in his hands.

"Getting to go out there and put the dagger in the thing, it's always special," Tucker said. "We love doing that."

Tucker's value may never have been more obvious than it was Thursday night.

Pittsburgh kicker Josh Scobee, who was signed to replace injured Shaun Suisham, missed a 49-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, then a 41-yard attempt on the next Steelers drive, keeping the Ravens within striking distance.

Meanwhile, Tucker booted 40- and 42-yard field goals in the fourth quarter even before taking the field for his 52-yard attempt.

"In this league, most games come down to three points," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "We have a great kicker."

While he's the fastest kicker to ever boot 100 field goals in NFL history, Tucker lost his distinction as the NFL's most accurate kicker with a rare miss last week at home against Cincinnati. Thursday night provided the perfect rebound, in one of the most difficult stadiums to kick in.

"No matter which way you spin it, which end of the stadium you're kicking at, it's a tough stadium to kick in," Tucker said. "This is one of the most electric stadiums to play in in the NFL."

Tucker, the constant showman, has been the star on primetime television before. He made a game-winning 61-yarder to beat the Detroit Lions in 2013, helping him earn a Pro Bowl invitation that year.

His game-winner in Pittsburgh is his eighth career game-winner (in just four years), and 16th successful boot from beyond 50 yards.

Tucker said the key is to "keep it simple." He was kicking all three into the closed end of the stadium and picking targets just left of center.

"On that last one, more than anything, I was just thinking, 'Let's just rip it and get the hell out of here,'" Tucker said.

"With the quality of the snapper and holder/punter that we've got, I'd say our range tonight could have been anywhere. We could have put the ball down and kicked it anywhere in that stadium tonight and felt good about it."

As soon as the 52-yard attempt left Tucker's right foot, he looked at holder Sam Koch and then went to celebrate with long snapper Morgan Cox. Cox was already sprinting down the field to retrieve the ball for Tucker to add to his collection.

"That's a pretty awesome thing of him to do," Tucker said.

"It's going to be one helluva plane ride* *home. I definitely think this first win for us should catalyze us to go onto big things."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content