Tucker Wins Kicking Battle

August 27, 2012 | Jeffrey Gilley

With 29 seconds to go in the 2012 AFC Championship, The Baltimore Ravens faced a second down with one yard to go.  Joe Flacco had outperformed Tom Brady the entire game and made perhaps the greatest throw of his professional career considering the circumstances.  But, as everyone knows, Lee Evans dropped the pass that would have sent the Ravens to their second Super Bowl birth in their short existence.

Even though Evans dropped the pass, Billy Cundiff, a Pro Bowl kicker in 2010 had the opportunity to tie the game with a 32-yard field goal.  Instead, Cundiff pulled the kick left and the Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl.  Who knows what would have happened if the Ravens advanced to the Super Bowl but Billy Cundiff was on thin ice from that moment on.

When training camp started, the job seemed to be Cundiff’s by default.  Instead, Cundiff struggled throughout camp while rookie free agent Justin Tucker excelled.  Cundiff seemed to be on his way out when he did not play in the third preseason game against the Jaguars, which is traditionally the warm up game for all NFL teams.

While Tucker has been impressive, it is only the preseason.  What if the Ravens come upon the same situation this season?  Would you really trust a rookie over a proven and established kicker?

In the end, the Ravens front office is among the best on football and they should be trusted in their decisions.