Instant analysis from Ravens’ stunning 19-17 win over Lions on Justin Tucker’s NFL-record 66-yard field goal

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Here’s what the Baltimore Sun sports staff had to say immediately after the Ravens’ stunning 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions in Week 3 on Sunday afternoon at Ford Field:

Jonas Shaffer, reporter: As tight end Mark Andrews said afterward, the Ravens will happily take 2-1 over 1-2 any way they can get it, no matter how ugly or improbable it might look at times. This is a long season, and the Ravens’ Septembers in recent years have rarely been pristine. Players were optimistic that they could learn a lot from a game like this. What they already knew to be true was made emphatically clear Sunday: There’s no one in the NFL quite like Justin Tucker.

Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens tried to lose to the Lions on Sunday, and they almost did before kicker Justin Tucker bailed them out with an NFL-record 66-yard field goal in the final seconds. The Lions exposed a lot of the Ravens’ weaknesses, but it’s still early in the season. At this point, who cares? A win is a win.

Ryan McFadden, reporter: I don’t even know what to say. Justin Tucker’s golden leg kicking the game-winning 66-yard field goal is a testament to him being one of the best kickers in NFL history. Injuries and the recent COVID absences impacted the Ravens on defense, as they looked completely gassed in the second half.

C.J. Doon, editor: 66 yards. That’s how this game will always be remembered. Justin Tucker’s NFL-record field goal in the final seconds is one for the history books, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. With Baltimore staring at a bad loss to a downtrodden Lions team, Tucker’s kick keeps the Ravens’ Super Bowl hopes alive after a huge victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last week.

This win wasn’t pretty, but with four key defensive players on the reserve/COVID-19 list and injuries to rookie outside linebacker Daelin Hayes and safety DeShon Elliott on Sunday, the banged-up Ravens will be happy to leave Detroit with a win. It’s a long season — and even longer this year with an additional 17th game.

The Ravens showed what they looked like at their best in a comeback win over the Chiefs. Their worst is still good enough to beat a bad team on the road. That won’t make coach John Harbaugh any happier about the offense’s inability to run the ball, convert on third down or make wide-open catches.

Tim Schwartz, editor: Holy smokes. Justin Tucker just cemented himself in NFL lore in a game Baltimore fans will remember forever. Tucker, who also kicked a then-career long 61-yard game-winner at Ford Field in Detroit in 2013, nailed an NFL-record 66-yard kick as time expired to lift the Ravens to a stunning victory over the lowly Lions.

Baltimore had a chance to put this game away early, but wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown’s hands made sure it didn’t. Lions quarterback Jared Goff, who has put together one good half in each of Detroit’s first two games, did so again in the final two quarters Sunday while Lamar Jackson pulled the rabbit out of his hat again on the final drive with a fourth-and-19 completion to Sammy Watkins before Tucker’s kick.

The mounting injuries across the board finally caught up to the Ravens, who looked tired and worn down in the final quarter, much like they did in a loss to Las Vegas in Week 1. Tucker missed a kick for the first time indoors early in the game but obviously made up for it at the end. The Ravens might’ve done well to get one running back going instead of splitting 15 carries between Latavius Murray, Ty’Son Williams and Devonta Freeman, none of whom had more than seven carries. But thanks to Jackson’s magical completion and Tucker’s stunning kick, the Ravens are riding high at 2-1.

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