Ravens Steal Win in Detroit Off the Leg of Justin Tucker
After a thrilling victory last Sunday night against the reigning AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Ravens knew they could not overlook the 0-2 Detroit Lions. It became clear early into Sundays contest however that the Ravens would be in for a dog fight.
The Ravens would be without defensive lineman Brandon Williams and Justin Madubuike, as they were deemed close contacts to defensive end Jaylon Ferguson who had a positive Covid test earlier this week. The Ravens were also without linebacker Justin Houston who also tested positive for Covid.
The Ravens and Lions traded punts on their first two drives. But Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense would get some momentum going midway through the first quarter, setting up Justin Tucker for a 49-yard field goal. Tucker would miss the kick wide right. After trading punts on the final two drives of the quarter neither team was able to breakthrough on the scoreboard.
On the Ravens first drive of the second quarter the Ravens finally got their first points of the game. This time Tucker connected on a 39-yard field goal with 12:26 remaining in the half. Following another Lions punt Jackson on third and long found a wide open Devin Duvernay in the back of the end zone for a 19 yard touchdown to cap off an 8-play 65 yard scoring drive.
On the Ravens final possession of the half Jackson found receiver Marquise Brown twice for potential touchdowns with each pass being dropped by the third year wideout. Brown has struggled in his short career with drops and had two game defining ones on one drive that could have easily shifted the complexion of this game.
The Ravens took a less than stellar 10-0 lead into the half.
While the scoring in the first half was minimal. The third quarter saw both teams score on each of their two respective drives. After a 50-yard field goal by Justin Tucker on the Ravens opening possession of the second half. The Lions finally got on the board with a D’Andre Swift 2-yard touchdown run.
On the Ravens following possession, the offense used a 10-play drive covering 61-yards headlined by tight end Mark Andrews hauling in two catches for 31-yards on the drive. Following an incomplete pass by quarterback Lamar Jackson from the Lions 14-yard line. Justin Tucker once again connected on a field goal, this time from 32-yards out.
The Lions would answer however on their following offensive possession. Lions quarterback Jared Goff and company orchestrated a 12-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a Jamaal Williams 1-yard run to cut the Ravens lead to two with 8:16 left in the game.
Lamar Jackson, on the Ravens next possession got the ball down to the Lions 42-yard line looking to extend the lead and likely put the game away. After a sack on second down, Jackson again faced pressure scrambling out and trying to force a ball to receiver Marquise Brown. The desperation heave was picked off by Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye. Jacksons third interception in two games.
Goff and the Lions would begin their drive from their own 21-yard line, needing only a field goal to escape with a win. Lions running back D’Andre Swift, who finished Sunday with 14 carries for 47 yards and a touchdown, also adding seven receptions for 60 yards, was the workhorse for the Lions on their final drive both running and catching the ball. The Lions worked their way down to the Ravens 17-yard line. Lions kicker Ryan Santoso nailed a 35-yard field goal to take a 17-16 lead with a little over a minute left in the fourth quarter.
With no timeouts the Ravens needed to work quickly to get into range for Tucker to attempt a game winning field goal. Lamar Jackson was sacked on the first play then missed a pass to Devin Duvernay, followed by another sack on third down. After three negative offensive plays and facing a fourth and long the chances of a Ravens win looked slim. With 26 seconds remaining from the Ravens own 16-yard line, Lamar Jackson found an open Sammy Watkins for 36-yards down to the Lions 48-yard line.
After a Lamar Jackson spike and incomplete pass on second down, the Ravens ran out kicker Justin Tucker to attempt an NFL record 66-yard field goal, and help the Ravens escape Detroit with a win. Just eight years earlier the Ravens faced a similar situation against the Lions on Monday night football. Tucker would go on to drill a 61-yard field goal that night to seal a Ravens win.
Tucker lined up again in Detroit, this time five yards farther then that Monday night in 2013, looking to again break the Lions hearts. A good snap by Nick Moore, and hold by Sam Koch, Tucker got a good hit on the ball. The ball hit the bottom crossbar bouncing into the air and in. The Ravens, off the huge leg of Justin Tucker win in Detroit by a final of 19-17.
Justin Tucker, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, now holds the NFL record for the longest field goal standing at 66-yards.
The Ravens defensive line again struggled to get much of a pass rush allowing Jared Goff to have an efficient day completing 22 passes for 217 yards. Both Ravens sacks came from the secondary, with Chuck Clark and Tavon Young both recording a sack. Clark lead the Ravens with 12 total tackles
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson failed to reach 100 yards rushing finishing with a team leading 58 yards, to go along with his 287 yards passing on 16-for-31 throwing.
Ravens tight end Mark Andrews lead all receivers with five catches for 109 yards.
The Ravens look to make it three in a row as they matchup with the Denver Broncos in Mile High in week four. A well known place for long field goals, could Tucker top his record next week?