Justin Tucker and Deshaun Watson both have films showing them to be some of the best players in the league at their peak. However, with the Ravens slipping to 7-3 in Week 10, one NFL analyst was playing the blame game.
Good Morning Football guest Shaun O’Hara’s assessment might leave fans shocked as he called out Justin Tucker, who has been a cornerstone of the franchise as far back as the peak of the Joe Flacco era. Here’s how he put it:
“[00:00:27] I look at this Baltimore Ravens team and I feel like the way that they’ve lost some of [the games] due to field goals, like if there’s one guy, one kicker in the league that you would say, ‘who would you take with your life on the line?’ I think I’d take Justin Tucker.”
As he said the words, he seemed to be stunned that he had arrived at that final calculation. However, he didn’t back down, adding:
“I think the fact that he missed a field goal against the Colts, they had a blocked field goal against the Browns, like those are things where you would not expect special teams to be a [negative] factor with them. [00:01:06]”
Justin Tucker trends down with 34th birthday looming
The Ravens’ franchise kicker has been around for a long time and could be around for much longer, but he’s in the midst of a downtrend.
In 2021, he made an impressive 94.6% of his field goals. In 2022, his accuracy dipped more than eight percent down to 86.0%. He has made just 81% of his field goals this season.
If that percentage sticks throughout the rest of the year, it would be the least accurate season of his 12-year career. His next worst percentage was back in 2015 when he made 82.5% of his kicks. At the time of writing, he has made 17 of 21 field goals this season as Lamar Jackson surges.
Tucker’s 34th birthday falls on November 21. While kickers have been known to play into their 40s on occasion, there are no guarantees of anything from health to continued unilateral support in sports the deeper a player gets into their 30s. Derek Carr’s former kicker Sebastian Janikowski played for the Raiders until he was 38.
Aaron Rodgers’ former kicker Mason Crosby played for the Green Bay Packers until he was 38 as well. That said, as the years wore on, fanbase complaints about both kickers slowly grew louder until the team eventually turned the page.
That said, Tucker still holds the record for the longest field goal in NFL history and on that accolade alone, most believe he will be able to milk some extra work. Even if he hovers around 80% accuracy, he should still hold a job somewhere in the league.
The question is, will the Ravens settle for that when they’ve had a version of Tucker who has made above 90% of his attempts in six seasons?
If any of the above quotes are used, credit Good Morning Football and H/T Sportskeeda.