Ravens’ fourth-down conversion gives Tucker shot at record
DETROIT — Justin Tucker’s 66-yard field-goal will be the play that everyone remembers from the Baltimore Ravens win over Detroit.
Tucker had to make a lot of things happen before he was allowed to have the opportunity.
There would have been no record-breaking kick if Lamar Jackson hadn’t hit Sammy Watkins for 36 yards on 4th-and-19.
“We had the chance to move off the field on fourth, and it was a long, long way,” said Dan Campbell, Lions coach. “That was our chance, to win the game without ever giving them a chance at a goal .”
The Lions only rushed three players, giving Jackson ample time to develop the play. Watkins was able to escape Will Harris, Detroit safety, and get through midfield to give Tucker a chance.
” Jackson said that he was trying to buy some time. He had also taken two sacks during the drive. They went three-down, which saved us a lot of time. And they double-teamed our men. Sammy was at full speed when he opened the ball. I just tried to give him a playable ball and he came through.”
Campbell thought rushing three was the correct decision — he needed his defenders to make a play.
” I think that was a good defensive call. That’s what I like,” Campbell stated. It was the way that we played the call. We had communication errors too many times today, and that’s something we need to clean up.”
Instead, Tucker got the chance to ruin another night for Lions fans. On Dec. 16, 2013, Tucker hit a 61-yard field goal with 38 seconds left to give the Ravens an 18-16 win on Monday Night Football.
” Jackson stated that he had hit from 61 last time they played here so I wanted to give him more yards. Jackson said, “I knew that if he got enough air underneath it, he would have a chance.” But to make the longest field goal in NFL History? That’s legendary.”
Tucker now has the two longest field goals in the history of Ford Field — a stadium where the Lions have usually had Jason Hanson or Matt Prater kicking since it opened in 2002.
The Lions are known for losing long kicks. Tucker’s two missed kicks were not the only problem. Detroit also lost Tom Dempsey’s yarder for New Orleans, which was then the record yarder. Buffalo’s Dan Carpenter beat the Lions with a 58-yarder in 2014.
With 7: 08 left in the second quarter, Ravens punt returner Devin Duvernay fumbled at his own 23, and Detroit’s Dean Marlowe returned it to the 17. However, the play was lost because Jerry Jacobs, Lions’ gunner, had run out of space while covering the kick. Duvernay returned the second punt to the Ravens 35, then caught a 19-yard touchdown pass to give Baltimore a 10-0 halftime lead.
” We were too slow in the first half. I didn’t feel like the offense was getting into a rhythm,” Campbell stated. “But I thought Goff was better in the second half — he came to life and gave us a chance to win.”
Goff led three scoring drives in the second half, including the one that ended with Ryan Santoso’s go-ahead field goal with 1: 04 to play.
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