Accomplishments just keep being made when Justin Tucker is around.
The Ravens kicker became the first kicker in NFL history to earn the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month award for the sixth time in his career after Thursday’s announcement by the league that he had won for November. He already owns a franchise-record eight AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
The award comes just four days after he converted two field goals and three extra points in Sunday’s 34-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders and became the fastest sole kicker to rack up 900 career points, doing so in 107 games. Gino Cappalletti reached the 900-point level in 106 games, but was a wide receiver and kicker for the Boston Patriots.
Tucker wrapped up the month by connecting on all eight of his field goals and all six of his extra-point attempts.
He distributed credit for the award with teammates and coaches.
“I think around here, it goes without saying that this is a pack effort,” he said before Thursday afternoon’s practice. “[Long snapper] Morgan Cox, [holder] Sam Koch, [specialists coach] Randy Brown, [special teams coordinator] Jerry Rosburg, all the work that we put in – along with our protection – week in and week out, it’s cool to see that materialize in the form of accolades. At the same time, we know where we are as a team and what we want to accomplish. So the work continues.”
Tucker, who is also the most accurate kicker in NFL history at 90.3 percent (223 of 247) of his field goal attempts, picked up the monthly award for the second time this season after winning in September. He was previously recognized in November 2013, November 2014, September 2016 and November 2017.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Tucker has made his last nine field goals of 50 yards or more and is 19-of-21 from 50 yards or beyond since 2016. He is on pace to finish with 30 field goals, which would mark his sixth season of at least 30 field goals and help him break a tie with David Akers, John Carney and Stephen Gostkowski for the most in league history.
This season, however, has been more challenging for Tucker. He has had a season-high two field-goal attempts blocked and missed the first extra point of his career in a 24-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 21 after converting the first 222 tries.
But Tucker doesn’t get bogged down by the past.
“I’m still just trying to put one foot in front of the other and just take it one kick at a time,” he said. “Sometimes it’s easy to do that, and sometimes it’s tougher to do that. But I’m just at a point right now where I’m enjoying the ride.”
That focus on the present pleases Rosburg.
“Scoring points for us, that’s the biggest thing,” he said. “And Justin will also tell you [it’s] the next kick. It’s all about the next kick. So we’re working today to make sure we can try to make that next kick.”