Terrell Suggs Praises Justin Tucker For 'Ice In His Veins' After Another Game-Winner


Before Justin Tucker took the field for his game-winning 54-yard field-goal kick, long snapper Morgan Cox hit him with a quote from "The Sandlot."

"Heroes get remembered, but legends never die," Cox said.

Talk about pressure …

"Yeah, it might be a little bit dramatic," Tucker said with a smile after the game. "It's a football game, but, hey, that's how we feel, man."

Tucker stepped onto the field and drilled the kick down the middle with room to spare, giving the Ravens a 19-17 lead with a minute left. The defense and a Zachary Orr interception sealed it from there.

Tucker's four field goals on the day – from 43, 42, 37 and 54 yards – carried the Ravens' scoring, and proved yet again that Baltimore's four-year investment in its franchise kicker was a wise decision.

It's Tucker's 12th career game-winning field goal in his five seasons, including eight on the road. Being in this position is nothing new for Tucker. In fact, he expects it.

"While we would like to blow everybody out, beat the brakes off everybody we play, we know realistically, we're the Baltimore Ravens," Tucker said. "We play AFC North, black-and-blue division football. We have to be ready to end close games and put the dagger in them ourselves."

Ravens fans have been spoiled by a kicker who has, time and time again, come up in the clutch. And so have Tucker's teammates. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs – a big NBA fan – compared his kicker to L.A. Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who is known for his killer instinct at the end of games.

"This is the NFL, and when games come down to the final possession, you want a man that's clutch," Suggs said. "You want a quarterback with ice in his veins, and you [darn] well want a kicker with ice in his veins."

Tucker missed from 57 yards earlier in the game, heading in the same direction, but it didn't officially count as a miss. Tucker ran onto the field for an attempt as the final seconds ran down on the first half and he came up short.

He said the difference then was he was kicking the offense's ball instead of his normal kicking ball, which travels farther. Tucker said it was like kicking a "chocolate bar." The Ravens kicker was aided, however, by a penalty on the Jaguars that wiped off the miss and put him in position to nail a 42-yard field goal to end the half.

The miss from long distance didn't faze Tucker or Head Coach John Harbaugh's confidence. Harbaugh said he knew he would send Tucker onto the field for the game-winning boot as soon as the offense crossed midfield.

Tucker was 4-of-10 from 50 yards or beyond last year, giving him his lowest percentage from that range of his young career. His success percentage from 50 or longer has dropped each year he's been in the league, but he's now 2-for-2 this season.

Tucker said he's not doing anything different from last year, but the results make all the difference, especially when they come at the end of games.

"We've had a good handful of [game-winners] in my time here," Tucker said. "Do they get easier? I'm not sure. But I can tell you that the more opportunities that we have we successfully convert, the more confidence I have going into the next one."

The rest of the Ravens special teams unit had an up-and-down day. A 42-yard punt return set the Jaguars up for their first touchdown, then a Devin Hester muffed punt put Jacksonville in range for a go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter.

But just when Baltimore needed a play from its special teams unit, defensive end Brent Urban bulldozed his way into the backfield to block a 52-yard field-goal attempt by kicker Jason Myers. The Ravens recovered and the offense moved just far enough to put Tucker in position.

It's the Ravens' 10th blocked kick since 2014, which leads the league. Baltimore had a critical extra-point block last week in Cleveland.

"We can't say enough about these blocked field goals," Suggs said. "We would like to not have to do that, but it's good to know that when the time comes, you've got a 6-12 Brent Urban that can go in there and do it."

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