Justin Tucker stood on the sidelines in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Bengals, and had a feeling the outcome would come down to him.
As the Ravens saw their 17-point halftime lead evaporate, Tucker and Kicking Coach Randy Brown looked at each other and predicted the Ravens would again rely on Tucker's leg to come away with a win.
"Randy smiles at me, and I smile right back at him," Tucker recalled after the game. "He says, 'You and I are the only two people in this stadium that know exactly what's up right now. Sure enough, the game comes down to three points in overtime."
Tucker's expectation proved to be true, as the Ravens turned to him to kick a game-winning 46-yard field goal in overtime. With a swirling wind at his back, he booted the ball squarely through the uprights to give the Ravens an emotional 20-17 win to end a three-game losing skid.
The kick was Tucker's fifth game-winning field goal of his young career.
"We feel like we're a team that's built for these types of games," Tucker said. "That's how all of these AFC North games tend to be, in my limited experience in them. They tend to be dog fights. At the same time, I think they're the most fun games to be a part of."
The kick did not come in easy conditions, as the wind caused problems for both teams. Quarterback Joe Flacco said it was the windiest game he has ever played at M&T Bank Stadium. The flags at the top of the stadium were blowing one way, but the wind on the field was moving the opposite direction.
The Ravens lost the coin toss going into overtime, so when the Bengals decided to receive the Ravens took the wind at their back.
"We ended up getting the wind behind us, it was kind of a cross-wind," Tucker said. "We had a plan. The ball wasn't going to move too much. We just figured we'd just hit it as close down the middle as possible and give it a shot."
Tucker actually had two attempts at the kick, as the Bengals called a timeout at the last second in an attempt to ice him. The Ravens snapped the ball just after the Bengals called timeout, and Cincinnati* *defensive lineman Carlos Dunlap ran through the line of scrimmage to get into the backfield. Tucker booted the ball right into Dunlap's chest, who then jawed at Tucker for a minute.
The two teams reset and Tucker booted the ball through the middle for the win.
"I'm happy right now," Tucker said. "I feel like I [put emotion aside] for my team. But at the same time, now our eyes are focused on next week's opponent and trying to improve upon our record and give ourselves a chance to be in it at the end of the whole thing."