Kicker Justin Tucker converted all four field goals he attempted in the Ravens’ 31-27 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday, but the second one he lined up for never had a chance.
Early in the second quarter, on fourth-and-21 at Pittsburgh’s 27-yard line, holder Sam Koch could not bring down a high snap from long snapper Morgan Cox and lost the ball. Right tackle Rick Wagner eventually recovered it at the 30, and the Steelers maintained their 7-3 lead.
Afterward, both Cox and Koch accepted responsibility for the rare gaffe.
“In snapping, and a specialist’s job in general, it’s a matter of a fraction of millimeters, and on the snap, I just let go of it too late,” Cox said. “If I had let go of it just a little bit earlier, I’d feel a lot better about the snap. Obviously, I hate to let the guys down, and I’m going to go to work and make sure that it never happens again.”
Added Koch: “It’s just one of those freak things that happened. I know that Morgan wanted it probably a little lower, and I should have bailed him out and got it down. But it just didn’t happen.”
Koch said the ball was not wet and therefore not slick enough to partly account for the botched snap. He said he could not offer much more detail until he had a chance to review the game film with special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg and kicking consultant Randy Brown.
Cox vowed to work on refining his technique.
“If anything, you use it as a motivator going forward to keep working hard so that, like I said, it never happens again,” he said.