Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker talks about kick at the end of the first half that scored on the second atttempt as well as the Ravens' tendency to play close games. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun video)
Kicking three straight game-winning field goal usually makes for a pretty solid month. Justin Tucker can attest to that.
On Thursday, the Ravens kicker was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for the third time in his career. He has converted all nine of his field-goal attempts and all four of his extra-point tries this season.
Tucker's performances include breaking a 7-7 tie with the Buffalo Bills with field goals of 50 and 37 yards for a 13-7 win on Sept. 11, capping a 25-point comeback with field goals of 49 and 41 yards for a 25-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 18 and nailing a 54-yarder to cement 19-17 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
"I think he's deserving because he's not only made long kicks, but he's been very consistent," special teams coordinator and associate head coach Jerry Rosburg said after Thursday's practice. "His kickoffs have been just as ordered, and he's been clutch. He's made some big kicks in big moments. That's really a sign of a great kicker, someone who can come in the fourth quarter and pin a game down for you."
Tucker also was honored in November 2013 and November 2014. In July, he and the Ravens agreed on a four-year, $16.8 million extension that includes $10.8 million in guaranteed money and a $6 million signing bonus. Both are the biggest in NFL history for a kicker.