Ravens' Justin Tucker no longer most accurate kicker, but Baltimore still confident

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens believe Justin Tucker is still the top kicker in football, although he currently doesn't have the one title to back up that claim.

For the first time in seven years, Tucker will take the field without the recognition of being the most accurate kicker in NFL history. A missed 44-yard field goal in Week 12 against the Los Angeles Chargers dropped his career conversion rate to 89.9%, which knocked him just below the Atlanta Falcons' Younghoe Koo (90.1%).

Does that mean anything to Tucker? "Yes and no," he said.

"In a given moment, when I'm on the field preparing to send a ball through the uprights, I can tell you that's the last thing that I'm worried about," Tucker said. "That's like the furthest thing from my mind.

"All I'm focused on is making that kick in that moment in time, for what it's worth, gathering all the data that I need to, applying what I've learned over the years in that given moment to do my best to put the ball through the uprights."

Tucker, 34, has garnered the reputation as the best kicker in NFL history for his consistency and his clutch performances. He's been named first-team All-Pro five times, which is two more than any other kicker. Tucker owns the league's longest streak of made field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime (65 in a row from 2016 to 2022), the most winning field goals with no time remaining in regulation (seven) and the longest kick in NFL history (66-yarder last year). Tucker has made at least 85% of his field goal attempts in each of the last seven seasons, the longest streak in NFL history with a minimum of 20 attempts each season, although that streak is in jeopardy with him at 80.8% this season.

And his long-time reign as the all-time most accurate kicker is over, at least for now. He had taken over that title from the Dallas Cowboys' Dan Bailey in Week 15 of 2016 and held that top spot until last week.

"When it's all said and done [and] when I'm done playing -- hopefully a very, very long time from now -- then I'll hopefully be able to look back and I'll have a couple of cool stats that other people can rattle off when they're talking about me," Tucker said. "But it's not like I'm hanging my hat on being the most accurate kicker in NFL history while I'm still currently playing.

"I'm in the middle of the journey along with my teammates, and yeah, I could care less about that right now. I'm just doing what I can to make kicks."

The knee-jerk reaction is to say this is Tucker's worst season in recent memory. His five missed field goals are his most through 12 games since 2015.

But four of Tucker's five misses have come from 53 yards or longer. He was wide right on a 59-yarder, short on a 61-yarder, hit the upright on a 53-yarder and had a 55-yarder blocked.

"There are a lot of differences between the [missed] kicks, but I don't think it's a problem," Ravens special teams coordinator Chris Horton said. "I still think we have the greatest kicker in football, that I can tell you, and we'll put him out there whenever we need him. So I think we're going to be OK."

Tucker's latest miss was a 44-yard field goal attempt on Nov. 26 at the Chargers. With Baltimore holding a 13-10 lead and three minutes remaining, Tucker hit the ball wide left in a rare mistake that involved some extenuating circumstances due to the play clock.

"That was one that he was rushed on," said coach John Harbaugh, whose Ravens eventually beat the Chargers, 20-10. "He was rushed on all those field goals the whole game. I'm not making excuses for him. He would never accept that. He'll tell you he has to make them under any circumstance.

"We can't afford to call a timeout there. I don't know why the clock was running so fast and why they didn't administer it the way they'd normally do, but we knew after the delay of game [penalty] on the first one that we were going to have to just speed it all up and get it off."

The last time he had missed under 50 yards in the fourth quarter was 2015, when Tucker sunk into a divot at San Francisco's Levi's Stadium on a 45-yard attempt.

The Ravens are showing no lack of confidence in Tucker, who has the most field goals made (384), most points scored (1,600) and most 40-yard field goals (170) since entering the NFL undrafted in 2012.

"It's just a miss," Harbaugh said. "He's human, and I'm sure glad we have him -- always will be."