Justin Tucker Named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

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K Justin Tucker

Justin Tucker loves the big stage, but there was no drama about who would win AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

On the strength of his record-setting 66-yard game-winning kick Sunday, Tucker was named the conference's top special teams player for Week 3. It's the 12th time in his legendary career that Tucker has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Since joining the Ravens in 2012 and helping them win a Super Bowl in his rookie season, nobody has been better at his job than Tucker. He is the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history, and delivering in the clutch is his forte. Sunday's game-winner was the 50th straight field goal that Tucker has made in the fourth quarter or overtime.

Even by Tucker's standards, Sunday's record-setting kick was special. It's the longest field goal in league history, topping the previous record of 64 yards by Matt Prater in 2013.

You've likely watched the replay of Tucker's kick over and over again, but if you're a Ravens fan or just a fan of special moments, it's still amazing to watch.

The jaw-dropping kick sent fans into hysteria.

Still only 31 years old, Tucker has a ton of big kicks left in his leg. But many are already calling him the greatest kicker of all time, with a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame a certainty once his career is done.

Tucker's presence lifted the Ravens to a heart-stopping victory and saved the day after Baltimore fell behind in the final two minutes. Tucker made four field goals Sunday, including a 50-yarder before the game-winner.

Something about Detroit and Ford Field bring out Tucker's best. His previous career-long make was a 61-yard game-winner in 2013, also at Ford Field. Tucker joked that he might buy a place in Detroit after Sunday's game, but if he plays in Detroit again, the Lions may try to lock him out of the stadium.

One of the keys to Tucker's greatness is that he still works tirelessly to improve. The crow-hop move that he recently developed to get extra distance on longer kicks gave him just enough power to make Sunday's kick.

You can bet Tucker has already watched replays of the kick, not just to relive the moment. He wants to study his technique. Tucker isn't resting on his laurels. He's still evolving.

When he was asked how much farther back he positioned himself on Sunday than he normal does, even Tucker wasn't sure.

"I honestly have to look at it," Tucker said. "I was kind of having little bit of like an out-of-body experience for a minute."

It was a moment that immediately became part of NFL history, and for the Ravens, it was another victory courtesy of the kicker who cornerback Marlon Humphrey calls "Legatron".

There is no doubt that Tucker is not just AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. He's special.

"He does have kind of the perfect personality for the job," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He likes the stage. He's not afraid of it, he relishes it."

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