Ravens

Quick Links

Justin Tucker missed a game-tying PAT, but the Ravens aren't fazed at all

tucker-saints-usat.png
USA TODAY Sports

Justin Tucker missed a game-tying PAT, but the Ravens aren't fazed at all

Justin Tucker making an extra point for the Baltimore Ravens is a sure thing.

As sure as the sun will rise each morning, Tucker's dependability and success have been a constant for the team. But on an afternoon where winds of around 17 mph were a factor though 60 minutes, Tucker's success came to a shocking halt. 

After Joe Flacco and the offense made their way downfield, Flacco found wide receiver John Brown in the end zone to make the score 24-23 with 24 seconds left in regulation.

In walked the most accurate kicker in NFL history to do what he's done so many times before; keep the Ravens in the game. As the ball sailed off Tucker's foot, it took a right and became the first point-after-touchdown the kicker has ever missed.

"I felt like when the ball came off my foot, that I hit it just how I wanted to," Tucker said at the podium following the Ravens' Week 7 loss to the Saints. "Don't get me wrong, today was a challenging day to kick the ball in our stadium, to the right of our bench."

Two hundred and twenty two-straight PATs. 222 consecutive makes, including 112 consecutive since PATs were moved back to the 15-yard line in 2015. Tucker was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September, marking the fifth time he's been awarded the honor.

From the field to the press box and all the way to the nosebleeds, M&T Bank Stadium was in shock. 

"A lot of things go through your mind, but I've been there plenty of time," Flacco said. "If you play football long enough, you're going to be there at some point. We're a very tight team here, and the first thing you think about is your brother and him dealing with it. Justin's the best in the world at what he does, and he's the most confident person that I know. It's not going to be an issue." 

"We're a tight group – we are light years better than we've been in the past," safety Eric Weddle said in the locker room after the loss. "Shoot, 'Tuck' is going to win us some games. We're not worried about that missed kick. Shoot, I think it's the first extra point ever that he's missed. Let's not get on him too hard. He's going to be hard on himself. That wasn't the only reason we lost." 

The support for Tucker, in what was a one-off for their teammate, was apparent throughout the entire locker room. When Tucker took to the podium to address the media, long snapper Morgan Cox and punter Sam Koch stood in the interview room while their kicker tried to explain what went wrong in a show of support.

"This one just happened to get away from me," Tucker added. "I'll have to look at it. I can't tell you exactly what happened, but at the end of the day, I feel like I cost us the game. Every single one of my teammates thus far has told me the opposite, and no one plays wins or loses a game, but that's a tough thing to grapple with when you're the guy in the situation at the end of the game."

Even members of the Saints were in disbelief. Almost everyone was mentally preparing for overtime as Tucker's accuracy is known around the league.

"When [Tucker] missed it, I thought, 'Let's get up and get out of here,'" running back Mark Ingram said. "I mean, that guy is good, so I was shocked."

"I automatically was thinking about overtime and what we were going to do," quarterback Drew Brees added. "I was very, very surprised when he missed it."

What the Ravens and fans alike can take solace in is that Tucker's stats speak for themselves showing more positive plays than negative. While it was probably the most heartbreaking loss they've had since Week 17 of the 2017 season, Tucker's point of emphasis when speaking with the media postgame was about more than a missed extra point.

"But, more than anything, I just wanted to be here [at the podium]," he said. "If I was going to ever teach my son or any young person about accountability, I felt like it was really important that I stand up here and answer whatever questions you guys may have."

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Pete Carroll has ‘nothing but great thoughts’ about former Seahawk safety Earl Thomas

Pete Carroll has ‘nothing but great thoughts’ about former Seahawk safety Earl Thomas

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he doesn’t harbor any negative thoughts or feelings about Earl Thomas. More specifically, about how Thomas' tenure ended in Seattle.

In a Wednesday conference call, Carroll said he loved coaching Thomas and hopes nothing but the best for him in Baltimore.

“I know that when we were together, we did everything we could to be great,” Carroll said. “Earl was an incredible competitor and I loved coaching him. And I like watching him play now. It’ll be fun playing against him.”

Thomas was a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro in Seattle under Carroll’s watch, but the relationship soured toward the end of Thomas’s time in Seattle. After a holdout last season, Thomas broke his leg in the team’s fourth game of the season. While being carted off, he flipped off the Seahawks sideline in his last time in the uniform. 

He signed a four-year, 55 million dollar deal in the offseason to play with the Ravens, officially ending his nine-year stint as a Seahawk. 

Carroll, however, said he has no issues with how the relationship ended.

“Not really, I wish he could’ve played with us and we could’ve stayed together forever,” Carroll said. “That was kind of always the thought. But it didn’t work out that way and guys have got to go on their way and they do their business and do their stuff. Earl was a great Seahawk, he was a blast to coach, we had a great time here doing the things we did.”

As for whether the two could reconnect on Sunday, both Thomas and Carroll said they won’t plan anything. Instead, they’ll let it happen organically.

“I have nothing but great thoughts about Earl,” Carroll said. “I have great respect for him. If I get a chance to visit with him, I’ll visit with him like I always do.”

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Earl Thomas isn’t fazed, yet, by return to face Seahawks as an opponent

Earl Thomas isn’t fazed, yet, by return to face Seahawks as an opponent

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The last time Earl Thomas was in a Seattle Seahawks uniform, he sat on a medical cart with his broken left leg in a cast and his right middle finger extended toward the Seahawks bench. 

The ugly finish to Thomas' tenure as a Seahawk last September ended a nine year stint as one of the league's best safeties, in the league's best secondaries. Now a Raven, Thomas will return to Seattle on Sunday to face the Seahawks for the first time as an opponent. 

He’s mostly downplayed the situation, but Sunday will undoubtedly be an emotional game for both Thomas and the Seahawks organization. 

“It doesn’t matter who I’m playing for, I’m going out there and trying to win,” Thomas said. “Maybe when I get to the visiting locker room and see how that feels, it’ll add something to that. But other than that, it’s business as usual. I’m going out there to compete and make plays.”

Thomas spent the entirety of his eventual Hall of Fame career in Seattle as a member of the ‘Legion of Boom,’ one of the most famous defensive units in league history.

But his time in Seattle eventually soured as the years rolled on and Kam Chancellor retired, Richard Sherman left town and the unit slowly faded into history. 

That’s before things took a turn with Thomas’ contract and future with the team. After a holdout, he played in four games last season, totaling three interceptions, before breaking his leg and ending his excellent tenure as a Seahawk against the Cardinals. 

“I feel like they’re were trying to phase me out, they were thinking more linebacker-ish,” Thomas said. “They’ve got the three-headed monster with K.J. (Wright), Bobby (Wagner) and (Mychal) Kendricks, obviously coach (Ken) Norton is the D-Coordinator. He’s a linebacker at heart. I understood what was going on.”

As for what reception he thinks he’ll get from the Seattle fans, he’s unsure, but hopeful.

“Hopefully they respect what I’ve done, get a couple of cheers and not too many boos,” Thomas said. “But whatever happens, happens. Hopefully it’s love.”

Thomas has made a big impression on the Ravens just six games into his four-year contract, especially when a player of his stature signs with the Ravens. 

But the way his tenure ended in Seattle is still on the minds of everyone, including a few of his teammates.

“Since Earl’s been here he’s definitely been a pretty calm-mannered guy,” Marlon Humphrey said. “He’s been there for a long time. The thing that flashes, to me, is the middle finger thing. I think there will definitely be a little tension there.”

Thomas said hasn’t planned to talk with anyone pregame and instead he’ll wait for it to happen naturally instead. 

But he did say that various members of the Seahawks organization have kept up with him throughout the course of the season.

“Especially guys on defense, some of my old coaches, some of the strength and conditioning staff,” Thomas said. “I’m sure during pregame, or warmups, if I see some guys and we start a conversation, I’m not going to go out there and not talk to anybody.”

Good memories are much easier to come by for Thomas. He was a three-time First Team All-Pro, six-time Pro Bowler, two-time Second Team All-Pro and a Super Bowl champion in Seattle. He paired with Chancellor on the back-end to create one of the most dominant safety pairings in NFL history as the duo helped lead Seattle to the postseason five times. 

The ugly way Thomas' tenure ended is still on the minds of everyone, but was closure, in a way. And Sunday represents the official closing of the book of his story in Seattle.

“I won so many games there, I grew up as a young man there, started when I was 20 years old,” Thomas said. “I’m always going to respect that organization and I’m always going to be a part of it.”

MORE RAVENS NEWS: