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Tucker wouldn't change anything about his missed FGs vs. Bills originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Ravens kicker Justin Tucker didn't mold himself into the NFL's all-time most accurate kicker by second guessing himself, even if the end result didn't go his way.
That was the case following Tucker's two first-half misses on Saturday night in Baltimore's playoff loss in Buffalo.
"I frankly wouldn’t have changed anything technically that I did on both of those field goal attempts, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about not putting those points on the board early in the game," Tucker said. "And it certainly doesn't make me feel better after failing to win the football game."
A second look at Tucker's two misses shows that his first-quarter attempt clashed against the left post from 41 yards out while his second miss smashed the the opposite pipe when the Ravens were driving towards the opposite end zone in the second quarter from 46 yards out. Both kicks were Tucker's first postseason misses from under 50 yards.
Al Michaels: "So here's (Justin) Tucker, who almost never misses."
And that's a doink. pic.twitter.com/wB7E6Jgeez
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) January 17, 2021
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 17, 2021
In fact, the only three points he managed to get on the board also hit the upright, this time the one to the right, before going through.
It appears evident that side of the field where all three of Tucker's field goal attempts came from in the first half were challenged by sweeping gusts of wind.
"When you’re trying to get a ball to go where you want it to go to in 15-20 miles per hour winds with gusts even higher, you ultimately have to rely on technique and leg strength and just try to power the ball exactly where you want it to go," Tucker said. "At a certain point you have to try and crush the ball and hope it works out well for you. That's basically what we tried to do last night."
After Tucker missed just the second postseason field goal attempt of his career last week in Tennessee, where windy conditions also played a role, the nine-year veteran placekicker is now up to four misses in 10 playoff games. Still, the 31-year-old's 90.6% career field goal conversion rate is the best in NFL history.
Though Tucker admitted the gusts of wind made kicking difficult in Bills Stadium, he was more interested in being held accountable than ranking how difficult the kick was compared to other ill-conditioned games over the course of his career.
"Quite simply that's not important," Tucker said. "What's important is finding a way to get the ball through the posts regardless of the difficulty of the conditions we're facing."
As a specialist passionate about his craft, Tucker said he practices in outdoor conditions no matter the weather during the regular season to prepare for nights like this.
"For what it's worth I do everything that I can pregame to figure out how the ball will track," Tucker said. "From the left hash to the right hash, certain distances, each direction of the field and it was just really tough wind to figure out. I think what's even more frustrating is that the ball leaves my foot, typically I know in that instant whether or not the kick is going to be good. As soon as the ball left my foot on the two misses that I had last night, it was exactly that I felt like the ball came off my foot really, really well. The ball just didn't go through."
With Baltimore's stout defense holding the Bills to just three first-half points, six more points from Tucker's usually reliable foot certainly would've altered the landscape of the contest.
"At the end of the day, almost doesn't cut it. Putting points on the board and failing to do so certainly had an impact on the game early on last night," Tucker said.