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Ravens' John Harbaugh backs Justin Tucker amid struggles

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh defends kicker Justin Tucker after his missed field goal versus the Los Angeles Chargers

Ravens, John Harbaugh, Justin Tucker, Chargers, Younghoe Koo

In one of the under-the-radar biggest surprises of the 2023 NFL season, Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker has been less accurate than normal. The likely future Hall of Fame and 5x first team All-Pro kicker has the lowest field goal percentage in a season of his career through 12 games. In 2023, he has a success rate of 80.8%. His previous low was in 2015 when he hit 82.5% of his field goals.

After missing a kick against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football, Tucker is currently 21-26 on the year for an 80.8% success rate. He has now missed a field goal in three out of the past five games. Following the game, Ravens coach John Harbaugh defended his kicker.

“‘Tuck [Justin Tucker] is ‘Tuck.' That was one that he was rushed on,” Harbaugh said. “He was rushed on all those field goals the whole game. I’m not making excuses for him. He would never accept that. He’ll tell you he has to make them under any circumstance. We can’t afford to call a timeout there. I don’t know why the clock was running so fast and why they didn’t administer it the way they’d normally do, but we knew after the delay of game [penalty] on the first one that we were going to have to just speed it all up and get it off. It’s just a miss. He’s human, and I’m sure glad we have him. [I] always will be,” via Kevin Oestreicher of USA Today.

Tucker likely doesn't have anything to worry about so long as he gets back on track. Though kickers often have one of the shortest leashes among all positions, Tucker is considered one of the best kickers ever so it would take a lot for him to land on the hot seat.

The missed field goal did cause Justin Tucker to drop to second place on the all-time field goal percentage leaders list among kickers who have kicked at least 100 field goals. Now, Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo has surpassed Tucker's 89.9% with his career rate of 90%. Koo has only missed one field goal all year, going 22-23 for a rate of 95.7%.

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About the Author

Eva started as an Associate Editor for Clutch Points in 2023 after recently graduating from UCLA. She has previously written for Lineups.com and is a big fan of all Bay Area sports.