PITTSBURGH – The Ravens were staring at 4th-and-1 from the Steelers 35-yard line in overtime. Coach John Harbaugh was contemplating trying to play for the first down and see if the Steelers would jump offside.
But quarterback Joe Flacco didn’t want to fool around.
“Joe comes over and says, ‘Just let him win the game’ “ Harbaugh recalled, with Flacco referring to Ravens Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker.
And with that, Tucker trotted out and drilled a 52-yard field goal with 5:08 left in overtime to lift the Ravens (1-3) to a desperately-needed 23-20 win here at Heinz Field. Tucker’s success – and 50-plus yarders are far from automatic at Heinz Field -- stood in stark contrast to Steelers kicker Josh Scobee, who missed field-goal attempts from 49 and 41 yards on the Steelers final two drives of regulation.
Scobee’s second miss, with 1:06 left, gave the Ravens new life and the ball at their 31-yard line. Seven plays later, Tucker hit a 42-yard field goal with three seconds left to force overtime.
Tucker’s game-winner was set up because, in large part, the Steelers lost confidence in Scobee. Facing 4th-and-1 at the Ravens 33 in overtime, the Steelers opted not to send out Scobee for a 50-yard try, and a fourth-down pass from Mike Vick to Antonio Brown was broken up by Jimmy Smith.
That set the stage for Flacco and the Ravens to steal the win.
A 12-yard run by Justin Forsett and an 11-yard pass from Flacco to Kamar Aiken were the key plays on an eight-play drive that reached the Steelers 35-yard line.
And on came Tucker, who drilled the eighth game-winner of his career.
Tucker is now 12-for-13 in his career at Heinz Field, and is 16-for-23 in his career from 50-plus yards. His career percentage of .899 is second-best in NFL history.
“When you have a guy like Justin, kicking field goals is a pretty safe bet,” Flacco said. “He’s pretty darn good.”