When Matt Stover’s reign in Charm City came to an end, the Baltimore Ravens struggled to find a reliable kicker. But all of that changed prior to last season when the Ravens picked up Justin Tucker from the University of Texas after going undrafted in 2012.
Tucker out-preformed Billy Cundiff for the starting spot as kicker and has held the position ever since. In 2013, Tucker has yet again been one of the team’s most reliable players.
In his second year as the team’s starting placekicker, Tucker has converted on 29 of his 31 attempts this season. His only two misses came in the Ravens Week 2 matchup against their division rival Cleveland Browns.
Tucker has made 27 consecutive field goals, which is currently the longest streak in the NFL this season. In Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tucker flawlessly executed a career-high five field goals in a single game.
But according to the second-year kicker, it isn’t that impressive.
“I just feel like I’m doing my job.”
Tucker is doing his job and he is doing it exceptionally well.
He credits much of his success to his “Wolf pack”, comprised of Tucker at placekicker, punter Sam Koch at holder, and Morgan Cox at long snapper. The three spend a lot of time working on getting their game to the best it can be.
“We’re not just standing around there spectating,” Tucker said. “We’re getting to work. As long as we’re working, we feel like we are getting closer and closer to perfection.”
The Ravens have struggled in just about every aspect of the game at some point this season, especially on offense. Joe Flacco has thrown a career-high 14 interceptions. Ray Rice has been held to only 482 yards this season. Rookie Marlon Brown leads the offense in touchdowns with five through Week 13.
But Tucker’s consistency has made up for the struggling offense in more games than one.
“I go into every single game knowing it’s going to be on me and expecting the game to come down to one or two or three points or one possession. If I didn’t prepare like that, then what am I doing out there on the practice field?”