If the Patriots showdown with the Ravens Sunday night comes down to kicking, it'll be the guy Bill Belichick called "the best kicker in the history of the league" on one side and a guy who Belichick thought earlier this week had last been playing in "the World League or whatever it is." 

In talking to reporters this week, Belichick called the Ravens' Justin Tucker the best kicker in NFL history.

“He’s the best kicker in the history of the league, right?” Belichick said from the podium this week. “I mean, yeah. We were fortunate enough to block one against him the last time we played him, but it’s not easy.”

Tucker did beat Belichick and the Pats with a field goal in 2012. Although many wonder - including Belichick vociferously at the time - if that kick was really good. Watch it here (LINK).

In any event, that's high praise coming from a coach who's only employed, on a regular basis, two kickers in his 20 years with the Patriots - Stephen Gostkowski and Adam Vinatier, who might give Tucker some competition in the best-kicker-ever category.

Statistically, Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history. His career 90.681 field goal percentage (253-for-279) is the only one over 90.  He's 16-for-16 this season and has tied for the NFL record for most 50-plus yarders in a game (three) and a season (10), both in 2016, and has a 61-yarder (in a dome) on his resume.

 

And Folk? Signed by the Patriots this week after they cut Mike Nugent, who replaced the injured Gostkowski for four games, Folk last kicked in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for four games in 2017 and his last pro experience wasn't the "World League" but this past spring in the short-lived Alliance of American Football for something called the Atlanta Legends.

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