John Harbaugh says he considered letting Justin Tucker try a 68-yard field goal against the Browns

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns
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One of the best games of the 2020 NFL season ended with Ravens kicker Justin Tucker hitting a 55-yard field goal to beat the Browns. But Ravens coach John Harbaugh says that minutes earlier, Tucker nearly convinced him to let him kick an NFL-record 68-yard field goal.

Harbaugh relayed the story of that game in a discussion with high school coaches on Hudl, and he said that just before quarterback Lamar Jackson returned from the locker room and threw a 44-yard touchdown pass after the two-minute warning, Harbaugh thought he was going to be down to playing wide receiver Willie Snead at quarterback because Jackson had already gone to the locker room and backup quarterback Trace McSorley had just suffered a knee injury.

“Tucker, who always runs right by me when he wants to kick a field goal, comes clicking by me, spins around and looks at me like, ‘Am I kicking the field goal?’ And I look at him and I go, ‘It’s 68 yards.’ He goes, ‘Yeah.’ I go, ‘Can you make it?’ And I think it might be a good idea. He looks at me and he says, ‘I think I’ve got a better chance than Willie.’ And I’m like, ‘I think you might be right,'” Harbaugh recalled.

Fortunately for Harbaugh, at that moment Jackson ran back to the field from the locker room and said, “I got this, coach.”

Harbaugh’s memory of the game wasn’t completely correct, as it actually would have been a 62-yard field goal for Tucker where the Ravens had the ball at the time. But the mere fact that Harbaugh thinks a 68-yard field goal would be a valid idea shows incredible faith in Tucker.

21 responses to “John Harbaugh says he considered letting Justin Tucker try a 68-yard field goal against the Browns

  1. Still get chills watching Tom Dempsey kick that 63 yard FG into the wind. In those days, the goal posts were at the front of the end zone. The ball was spotted at the Saints 37 yard line!

  2. What a shocker. John Harbaugh making up more stories. Dude might have a problem.

  3. IMO, Tucker is the greatest to ever play at his position. The distance would be impressive but what’s even greater is his consistency and reliability. As a Panthers how many times have I watched our kicker run out on the field for a routine kick and shank it. No such thing for Tucker.

  4. That’s nothing, Lane Kiffin had Sebastian Janikowski try a 75 yard field goal against the chargers, of course Al Davis fired him not long after that

  5. Fond memories from a regular season game, but not so good ones from the playoffs the last 3 years for Harbaugh.

  6. If the situation calls for it and the conditions are right, why not try it. The range these guys have now is off the charts.

  7. Whatever Tucker’s got, he should try to market it, teach it, whatever. It’s amazing to me how much moving back the PAT has messed with kickers’ heads. Kicking is so inconsistent these days for many teams, if you find a good one they’re well worth keeping and paying.

  8. I’m sure they will try this, or longer, sometime at end of a half or game when there is no downside. Tucker is remarkable and not lacking in confidence.

  9. In terms of leg talent and consistency I think Tucker is the best to ever do it. A guy like Vinatieri had the most clutch leg I ever seen though – the kick in the snow vs Oakland in 2001 might be the single greatest kick ever.

  10. Tucker has the leg and accuracy for it in good conditions during Pregame warmups, but in a game the reality is that kick has a 50% chance of getting past the line of scrimmage and a 25% chance of being on target – so I would give him about a 25% shot at making it.

  11. Been a fan of the almighty Pittsburgh Steelers since 1977 so I hate to admit it but Tucker is the best in the NFL. The guy is straight up money.

  12. the Buffalo wind bested Tucker. Tucker is a straight up beast of a kicker, but the Buffalo wind tamed him

  13. I only recently signed up to make comments… read the pieces on the App but rarely the comments —- the reason is that there are just too many hateful or negative remarks .. my comment above about John Harbaugh being a great NFL coach shows that nearly 1/2 believe that to be not true ..,seriously. John is in top 5 easily .. But, being associated with The Baltimore Ravens — no chance he will be recognized as he should be .. same for Lamar Jackson .. the comments on him are usually brutal, unfair, and extremely ignorant .. just saying this .. Ravens bring it every week (well most weeks😃)

  14. Well, if you’re out of QB’s that’s when you try a record field goal. I’m sure everyone on the Ravens has seen Tucker kick some long field goals in practice. I wonder what his longest practice field goal is. I’ll bet he’s kicked 70 yarders.

  15. Harbaugh has a virtually impossible choice to make: sign Lamar to a silly contract, and ensure no chance at winning in the playoffs, let alone a Super Bowl, or let him go and recognize to win in the playoffs you have to have a QB who can throw the ball reliably and accurately and make the right reads in clutch situations. And if he does that, Ravens Nation will erupt.
    But I think it’s actually the right call. If you sign Lamar to a big deal, your awful offense is only going to get worse because you won’t be able to afford what you need to surround him to mask his deficiencies as a passer (O linemen, WRs, and TEs).

  16. I love Tucker and he’s typically great (though close observers will note that he did slip a bit last year)

    However, when it comes to high 50’s, he does not have a great or particularly impressive track record. Harbaugh has let him attempt quite a number of relatively ridiculous kicks over the years and he understandably almost never makes any of them. He is clutch and accurate and great up to about mid 50’s.

  17. Tucker is pretty dang clutch. Minus a couple situations, he’s been astonishing. Our QB ain’t so bad himself. Appears to get knocked out of the game, is in the locker room, and then with the game on the line, he runs out of the tunnel and chucks a 44-yard TD pass to lock things up. Not bad for a RB.

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