Will the leg of Justin Tucker carry the Ravens past the Patriots in the AFC Championship game?
In the first two minutes of the second over time of one of the greatest NFL games ever written the script was being laid out perfectly for Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker. The Ravens had just intercepted the ball at mid-field after two failed attempts on offense to score, or even get within field goal range. All the Ravens needed to do was travel 10-15 yards to reach the supposed "limit" of the young rookie's leg. Then, the impossible happened. With a 11 yard run from Ray Rice the team was in Range.
The Ravens, having much confidence in the young kicker from Texas, used the next three snaps to inch the ball a bit closer and center it in the middle of the field for the rookie place kicker. tucker came onto the field and nailed it with no sweat. He looked confident and even at ease in the biggest and toughest of situations and all of the air in Baltimore was simultaneously released as fans either dropped to their knees or screamed with jubilant joy. It was Tuckers first attempt of the day, in a very different environment, and he nailed it dead on.
Tucker now had the opportunity to erase or at least ease the memory his predecessor Billy Cundiff had set last year in the last seconds of the AFC Championship game as he missed a chip shot field goal that would have sent a game, that the Ravens had already had in hand, into overtime with Baltimore having all the momentum.
The Ravens are a second half team. It has been proven for yeas now. It may be that quarterback Joe Flacco needs some time to get going some times. It may be that the entire team just performs better with the game on the line but for whatever reason these Baltimore Ravens strive in the second half/fourth quarter, setting up lot's of chances for late game heroics.
Many fans are predicting scores like 33-30 Ravens or 30-27 Ravens, indicating a close, high scoring affair in which the Ravens pull one out again on the leg of their beloved new young kicker. Will this scenario play out again? chances are no, it wont. Maybe the Ravens will win on a last second touchdown by, I don't know.. Tandon Doss for instance. Maybe the game will be tight but the Patriots will be lucky enough to figure out a way to have the ball down by 2 in the final seconds of a heart pounding contest. The odds are not good that Tucker will again get a chance to further erase the infamous legacy of Billy Cundiff here in Baltimore but if he does, wouldn't it be great!