The Ravens have multiple players that could win the Most Valuable Player award, but few would expect Justin Tucker to bring home the highest honor in football. Yet, I think he might just be able to do it. Yeah, I said it and it isn't just the fever dreams of a guy that was hauling a huge wooden fence off his property today. Don't believe me, well let's just go back in time to 1982 when a kicker actually won the award.
Washington Redskins kicker Mark Moseley got names the NFL's MVP during a shortened season due to the players' strike that ended up making the year a 9-game long regular season. Looking at what Moseley did however is our first clue that Tucker could actually get the award sent his way.
Moseley set a then NFL record with 23 consecutive field goals being made, and going 20 of 21 with the only miss coming from 40-49 yards. His 95.2% field goal rate and the sheer number of field goals attempted destroyed the competition as the next closest kicker was Eddie Murray of the Detroit Lions with a 91.7% field goal rate and going 11 of 12 on the season.
Extrapolating out Moseley's stats for a regular 16 game regular season, he would have attempted 37 field goals and hit on 36 of them. In Tucker's short career, he has had total attempts of 34 in 2014, 41 in 2013, and 33 in 2012. With his highest rate being 92.7% on his field goals, Tucker would have to improve on the best he has done to make his mark.
Tucker will also need to take down a record to go along with his better performance. However, Tucker has come close to doing that before. During his rookie season, Tucker hit on 30 field goals, while the record for the most field goals by a rookie was 35. Now, not a rookie, Tucker would have to make 40 in a season to tie Neil Rackers from Arizona in 2005 and 41 to take it. Tucker was also on one heck of a streak in the past with 33 consecutive field goals, not too far from breaking Matt Stover's Ravens record of 36 and the NFL's record of 42. With Tucker currently looking at 3 consecutive field goals made during the regular season, Tucker would have to have one of the best seasons as a kicker in order to achieve that record.
But Tucker is the type of guy that can do it. If Tucker could hit 40 consecutive field goals this season, he would have tied Neil Rackers and would break the record of most consecutive field goals by Mike Vanderjagt. One more good kick would give him two records on the season and one of the best rates of all time for a field goal kicker.
Another record that Tucker could break would be the longest field goal. We've seen him boot a 61-yard field goal already and Tucker feels that he could do better.
We've seen him hit 63 and 65-yard field goals during OTAs, which would beat the best kick in the league by an amazing 2-yards! He was noted as saying on the Baltimore Ravens' website that he feels he could hit a 79 yard field goal if the conditions were right, say like Denver early in the season, with a contract on the line...
It will be tough for Tucker to get the MVP trophy over players like J.J. Watt, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, but if history has taught us anything, it's that kickers are people too.