It seems improbable, but the Ravens are more than willing to let Justin Tucker kick them all the way to the playoffs. Tucker’s sixth field goal of the night, this one from 61 yards, pushed the Ravens to their biggest victory of the season, an 18-16 win in front of a raucous and shocked crowd of 64,742 at Ford Field. The longest field goal in Ravens’ franchise history, followed by Matt Elam’s interception, secured the team's fourth straight victory and keeps them in control of their playoff future. At 8-6, the Ravens remained tied with the Miami Dolphins and moved to within one game of the Cincinnati Bengals for first place in the AFC North. The Lions, who watched Matthew Stafford get picked for the third time, this one by Elam on their final possession, fell to 7-7. Detroit had taken a 16-15 lead when Stafford hit tight end Joseph Fauria for a 14-yard touchdown catch with 2:21 to play. The Lions couldn’t convert the two-point conversion, putting Tucker in position to win it. Quarterback Joe Flacco moved the ball into Lions’ territory with a 27-yard completion to Jacoby Jones on third-and-15. Later in the drive, it was fourth-and-7 and the Ravens appeared intent on going for it, rather than sending Tucker out for a 61-yard field goal. However, after a timeout, coach John Harbaugh reconsidered, and Tucker just snuck it over the crossbar. His six field goals accounted for all of the Ravens’ points and he now has made 33 straight field goals. The Ravens took a 9-7 lead into halftime and they expanded it on Tucker’s 49-yard field goal with eight minutes left in the third quarter. But the Lions answered those three points on their next drive, thanks to Stafford’s 37-yard completion to Calvin Johnson, which put Detroit into Ravens’ territory. However, the Ravens defense held and appeared to catch a break when cornerback Lardarius Webb seemed to get away with holding Kris Durham in the back of the end zone. David Akers’ 40-yard field goal made it a 12-10 game. The Ravens were handed a big-time opportunity to put the Lions away when Stafford threw his second interception, this one to middle linebacker Daryl Smith. The Ravens led by two and had the ball at the Lions’ 34 with about nine minutes to play. However, they lost 1 yard over the next three plays and watched Flacco take a vicious shot on his left leg that went uncalled. Tucker’s 53-yard field goal with 8:06 to play made it a 15-10 game.
Tucker's 61-yard FG lifts Ravens to 18-16 win over Lions
Baltimore Sun | Dec 17