“He’s the best kicker in NFL history.”
In one of the most dramatic endings to a game in recent years, Tucker converted a 66-yard field goal – with the ball first bouncing off the crossbar before finally going through the posts – as time expired to enter the NFL history books and help the Ravens beat the Detroit Lions 19-17.
The 66-yard kick surpassed the previous record for the longest field goal set by Matt Prater in 2013 with a 64-yard conversion.
Tucker’s kick sparked wild celebrations from Ravens players, as he was mobbed by his teammates.
“That’s the GOAT,” tight end Mark Andrews said.
In pre-game warm-ups, Tucker was unsuccessful from 65 yards. But when it came down to crunch time, he explained that he found a little “divinely inspired something” to make the game-clinching kick.
“As I’m becoming more and more a dinosaur in this league at 31 years old, I’ve got to do every little thing I can to get the ball to go a little farther,” Tucker said.
“When you’re that far away, there’s a level of you have to abandon a certain amount of your technique … to gain a little power and use the adrenaline and the feeling of the moment to get the ball to go. I hop into it just a little more aggressively.”
It capped off a remarkable final sequence for the Ravens, after quarterback Lamar Jackson converted a fourth-and-19 with a 36-yard pass to Sammy Watkins with less than a minute left and no timeouts remaining to set up Tucker’s kick.
Lions fans must be sick of the sight of Tucker by now, as it’s been eight years since he hit a 61-yard game-winning field goal to beat the same team.
“It’s déjà vu all over again,” Tucker said. “I love Detroit. I’m thinking about getting a place here.”
Tucker’s NFL-record 66-yard field goal on Sunday marks the second time in Lions history that they have lost a game on a record-setting field goal. On November 8, 1970, New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey made a then-record 63-yarder to beat the Lions in New Orleans.
The record kick sealed an important victory for the Ravens, as they remained tied with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns at the top of the AFC North with a record of 2-1.