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Justin Tucker Kicks the Ravens to the Top of the AFC North


Week 5 saw the Ravens take on one of their division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals, who came into the matchup holding the same record as the Ravens at 2-2. After a shaky start for both teams, Ravens’ kicker Justin Tucker tallied the first points on the board after nailing a 37-yard field goal. He accounted for nearly 80 percent of the points as he made four field goals and an extra point.

The Bengals had a similar problem and could not seem to gain any traction on offense. From the first half until the end of the second quarter, the Ravens’ defense looked impenetrable. 14 players recorded at least one tackle, with Patrick Queen and Marcus Peters leading the pack with five. Baltimore would score their only touchdown in the second quarter as tight end Mark Andrews caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson had an off night by his standards, only throwing one touchdown pass while recording 174 yards. He completed 19 throws on 32 attempts and gave up an interception, but the Bengals’ star quarterback Joe Burrow put up a similar stat line.

Just like in weeks prior, the question was if the Ravens’ defense would be able to sustain the same production from the first two quarters. They held their own, but the offense could not get anything going either. Early in the third quarter, the Ravens made it into Tucker’s field goal range, which is anything beyond or at midfield for those wondering. He proved this and nailed a 58-yard field goal and gave the Ravens a three-point lead.

Again, early in the fourth quarter, he hit a chip shot from 25 yards. The six-point lead would not be enough though, as the Bengals made a late-game drive to take a one-point lead with under two minutes remaining. This is where the team really stepped up as Jackson drove the Ravens down the field and set up Justin Tucker for a 43-yard field goal try. Without question, the greatest kicker ever nailed the game-winner as time expired.

This was a gutsy win for the Ravens, but a much-needed one nonetheless. Their other close competitor in the AFC North: the Browns, also lost their matchup against the Chargers by two points. Meaning that at 3-2, the Ravens sit atop the division thanks in part to Justin Tucker. Both the Browns and the Bengals are 2-3 while the Steelers are in last place at 1-4. The Ravens take on the red-hot New York Giants next Sunday and then the Browns the week after. Jackson and company will look to build some momentum after the tough win and beat out some of the harder opponents as they are halfway to their bye week in Week 10.

Featured Image Courtesy of Todd Olszewski via Getty Images

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Justin Tucker Kicks the Ravens to the Top of the AFC North