Reporting Scott Garceau
One of the few constants in the Ravens inconsistent 2012 season has been rookie place-kicker Justin Tucker. After Billy Cundiff’s AFC Championship Game miss much of the off-season chatter was about kickers. Could the Ravens trust Cundiff after his brutal so wide left, could they dare turn the job over to an undrafted rookie from Texas. They opted for the rookie and Justin Tucker has made the Ravens look smart.
With 2 games left Tucker has a chance to put together the best place kicking season in Ravens history. That’s high praise considering the work Matt Stover did in Baltimore from 1996-2008. Stover’s most accurate year was 2006 when he converted on 28 of 30 field goal attempts for an NFL leading and Ravens record 93.3%. Through 14 games Justin Tucker has hit on 25 of 27 for 92.6%. If Tucker can hit 3 more without a miss he’ll tie the team record, 4-4 would set a new mark.
In Stover’s record setting year he was 6 of 7 between 40 and 49 yards, Tucker has converted 9 of 11 from that range. The longer the better for the Ravens rookie from 50 yards and beyond he’s a perfect 4-4, Stover made his only attempt from 50 plus in 2006. Matt Stover is one of the NFL’s all time great kickers but the kid from Texas might be having the best kicking season in Ravens history.
As good as Tucker is, he nor anyone else will ever catch Matt Stover in consecutive points scored. Stover’s right foot was the only contributor to the scoreboard during an incredible 7-game stretch during the Ravens 2000 Super Bowl Championship season. From the fourth quarter of a September 24th home win against Cincinnati to the first quarter of a November 5th win at Cincinnati, Stover was it.
The Ravens were a one-trick pony and the pony was wearing number 3. Between those two Cincinnati games Baltimore went 5 games without scoring a touchdown! They were able to win two of the five. Stover 12, the Browns nothing, followed by Stover 15, Jacksonville 10. From September 24th until November 5th Matt Stover scored 49 consecutive points!!!
It started with an extra point in Cincinnati than came 16 field goals in 5 different cities. No touchdowns or safety’s to interrupt the September to November Stover streak. The offense was horrible but the defense and kicker were Lombardi Trophy worthy.
I dare you to find me a better consecutive points scored streak in NFL history. Paul Hornung, Red Grange, I don’t think so. Justin Tucker is having a great season, but his most consecutive points this year 13, a little short of 49. In fact Stover’s 49 might be safer than Joe DiMaggio’s 56.