(WHTM) — It was the doink heard around the world.
Or at least throughout all of Ford Field.
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Kicker Justin Tucker using every inch and fiber of the aluminum crossbar to bounce his NFL record 66-yard game-winning field goal to beat the Detroit Lions 19-17 on Sunday afternoon.
The fact the Ravens were even in position to make NFL history was immaculate as is.
With just 26 seconds remaining, quarterback Lamar Jackson was backed up deep in his own territory.
4th & 19 at the Ravens 16-yard-line with no timeouts.
Not only did the Baltimore offense need the first down to keep the game alive. They needed to somehow get within field goal range – or within even a sniff of it.
Insert Sammy Watkins.
The receiver breaking past man coverage to pick up 37 yards and get the ball down at the Lions’ 47.
After a Jackson incompletion, just three seconds remained on the clock.
Still, the odds were not in Baltimore’s favor.
In fact, they had never been in any team in NFL history’s favor in that situation.
No team or player had ever made a 66-yard field goal – let alone for the game.
Back in 2019, the Ravens signed Justin Tucker to a 4 year, $23.05 million dollar extension making him the highest-paid kicker in the NFL.
Some laughed and scoffed at the dollars at the time.
“For a kicker?”
With Tucker lined up on the Baltimore side of the field, he was about to show everyone why he was worth every penny.
“As soon as it left my foot, I knew it was going to have a chance, but I was short from 65 in pregame both ways. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t get the ball to just go,” Tucker said.
A subtle, but miniature extra step right before the snap helped to bring the ball the distance it needed.
“Thankfully I found an extra yard and a half I didn’t have three hours before. I’m grateful for that,” says Tucker.
The result was the most dramatic finish of the entire NFL weekend and possibly, the season.
“Way after on the field, I just said ‘hey, we’re going to remember that for the rest of our lives,” says head coach John Harbaugh.
The old adage is true: players win games and coaches lose them.
It’s a term rarely saved for the kicker position.
But this is no ordinary kicker.
Justin Tucker stands alone with the new NFL record and his team stands at the top of the division with a 2-1 record after an all-time classic victory.
Fair to say Tucker has some decent luck in the state of Michigan.
So much luck, he might just ride it out until it runs out.
“I love Detroit. I’m thinking about getting a place here,” a grinning Tucker said.
The Ravens now prepare for another early-season test next week when they travel to Denver to face an undefeated Broncos squad.
Kick-off comes at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday, October 3rd.