Justin Tucker Explains Another Missed Kick At Home


Justin Tucker booted the game-winning 52-yard field goal in overtime in Pittsburgh, a place historically known to be brutal on NFL kickers due to swirling winds off the three rivers and shoddy turf. 

But when it came time for a 51-yard field goal near the end of the first half Sunday, the home confines of M&T Bank Stadium proved perhaps trickier.

Tucker missed the kick and the Browns, given a short field, went down the other way to tack on a field goal before the end of the half. Baltimore could have led 17-6 at halftime, but instead settled for a 14-9 advantage. In a game that was tied at 30 by the end of regulation, it turned out to be a big swing.

Tucker said the turf didn't hold up for him on his 51-yard attempt. He pulled it wide left.

"As I went to put my plant [foot] in the ground, it slid out from me just a little bit," Tucker said.

"But there have been times when I've fallen completely on my rear end and still made the kick – in practice and games. It's definitely frustrating, but shoot, all you can do is to try to bounce back as quick as possible."

While Tucker hardly ever misses (he entered the game as the NFL's second most accurate kicker of all time), he misses more frequently at home than on the road. He has two misses this season – both at M&T Bank Stadium.

Of Tucker's 13 career misses, 10 have come at home.

Including the playoffs, Tucker has made 65 of 68 field-goal attempts on the road (95.6 percent). He's made 49 of 59 attempts at home (83.1 percent). That's a rather sizeable difference.

"I think this is a tough place to kick," Tucker said. "Today was a little bit more calm, but the wind can get moving a little bit. It gets cold. We'll get rain. We're battling the elements each and every week."

But Tucker doesn't want to put much stock in his road/home splits.

"I think the fact of the matter is you can't overanalyze these things, especially in my position," he said. "It's a tough stadium to kick in. I'm thankful to be part of an operation that I think is and can be and will continue to work to be the best in the league. And I'm glad we're here in Baltimore doing it."

Tucker was asked whether he likes Baltimore's artificial turf surface.

"I don't care where we play," Tucker said. "We've got just the men for the job to attack any situation, elements, stadium, atmosphere."

Tucker said he was frustrated with Sunday's miss because he, holder Sam Koch and long snapper Morgan Cox had a great week of practice. To miss because of a slip is particularly tough to swallow.

Tucker did bounce back to hit a 23-yard field goal with 29 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. And he was waiting for another chance to win it in extra time.

"If you would have asked anyone on that sideline as we were kicking off for overtime, we were thinking we were going to go win it," Tucker said. "Morgan, Sam and myself were thinking we were going to be the specific guys to go do it. It definitely sucks to lose."

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