The Ravens have the most accurate kicker in NFL history, but Justin Tucker and "The Wolfpack" had a difficult time in windy conditions during Saturday night's playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Tucker missed two kicks within the game's first 20 minutes, one from 41 yards and the other from 46 yards. Both of Tucker's kicks clanked off the goal post, the first one hitting the left upright, while the second one banged off the right.
How rare was this? It was the first time Tucker had ever missed two fields goals from inside 50 yards in the same game.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said swirling winds made it a difficult night for kickers.
"The wind was very impactful," Harbaugh said. "You could see it for both kickers. It was tough, really challenging out there."
Prior to Tucker's first miss, Baltimore put together a nice drive after the opening kickoff, but it got off-schedule when Lamar Jackson was sacked for an 11-yard loss. However, Jackson completed an 11-yard pass to Miles Boykin to put Baltimore in field-goal range on fourth down. So Tucker trotted onto the field for a 41-yard attempt that could have given the Ravens an early lead.
Even NBC play-by-play announcer Al Michaels chimed in, saying, "Tucker almost never misses," as he lined up for his kick. But Ravens fans may want to speak with Michaels about jinxing their kicker. With a steady wind in Bills Stadium, Tucker's attempt kept drifting left, kissed the upright, and the game remained scoreless.
When Baltimore went three-and-out on its next possession, it was time for Sam Koch's first punt of the game. Koch's boot traveled just 23 yards before it sailed out of bounds, setting the Bills up with a 1st-and-10 at Baltimore's 38-yard line. After Josh Allen completed a 16-yard pass to Stefon Diggs, Baltimore's defense held. But Bills kicker Tyler Bass made a 28-yard field goal to put Buffalo ahead, 3-0.
Bass did also miss two field goals Saturday night, showing how tough the conditions were at Bills Stadium.
Even Ravens All-Pro snapper Morgan Cox had a miscue early, when he was called for an offside penalty late in the first quarter.
Tucker came back at the end of the first half and banged a 34-yard field goal through the uprights, but the wind once again made it an adventure. The ball darted to the right, but went through, tying the game, 3-3, at halftime.
"The wind was crazy," Ravens left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. said. "Tuck's the greatest kicker to ever play this game. I've got a lot of respect for him. His job isn't easy. He's done everything he's needed to do over the last nine or 10 years, however long he's been playing. He's the best in the league at it."
Tucker never got an opportunity to kick in the second half, but outside linebacker Matthew Judon said it was just an odd night for the best group of specialists in the business.
"Sam didn't shank a punt, it just got caught up in the wind. You probably couldn't see that from wherever you were sitting on the couch," Judon said. "We all have faith in Tucker. When he was going out there and kicking, the wind kicked up. We expect him to make those, but we're all human. I missed some sacks today. Nobody went out there and played perfect. We're not going to sit here and hang this loss on Tuck. And we're not going to sit here and hang this loss on a punt that got caught up in the wind."