By Tom Worgo
Philadelphia Ravens rookie kicker Justin Tucker hasnt had to attempt a field with the game on the line yet.
The Ravens are increasingly confident that when that happens, he will come through.
He was one of the bright spots in Baltimore 24-23 loss to Philadelphia Sunday. Tucker kicked field goals of 56, 51 and 48 yards.
The Ravens almost set up a game-winning opportunity, but Baltimore gave up the ball on downs on Philadelphias 46 with 50 seconds remaining.
Tucker said he needed about five more yards to be within his range. His confidence appears to be growing with every standout performance.
My range would probably extend to the upper 60s on a good day, said Tucker, who the Ravens signed as a free agent out of the University of Texas. You dont put too much emphasis on the distance. Its just another attempt. Harbaugh is always stressing to us to keep stacking good days.
He showed off his booming leg with four seconds remaining in the first half when he converted the 56-yarder to put the Ravens ahead, 17-7.
I feel I hit it pretty good, Tucker said. I was pretty fired up to hit a good kick today. I was just looking at it as another kick. With my particular job description, you really have got to have no emotion. You just got to have a poker face every single attempt.
It looked like Tucker would have a chip shot to attempt early in the fourth quarter, but linebacker DeMeco Ryan sacked Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco on 3rd-and-9 at the 15.
It was a 13-yard loss so it made the kick attempt 51 yards. No problem at all for Tucker.
Tucker capped another fine day with a 48-yard kick with 4:43 remaining in the final quarter.
"He was great, Harbaugh said. Three field goals. All tough ones. He kicked off great. He kicked great."
Tucker also booted three field goals, including a nifty 44-yarder, in the Ravens season-opening win over Cincinnati.
So far, the 22-year-old is a perfect 6-for-6 in field goals and 7-for-7 in extra points. That performance has been good enough to erase any lingering doubts Baltimore made a mistake when it cut 9-year veteran and current Redskins kicker Billy Cundiff.
Tuckers nearly flawless preseason made the choice clear, though. He converted six of seven attempts with his only miss coming from 57 yards.
He stays calm, Ravens punter Sam Koch, who also doubles as the holder. He is keeping his mind and his head in it. You can say he is hitting every ball where he wants to hit it. But he is still young and has to go through some adversity.