Baltimore Ravens: Extra Points More Difficult for Justin Tucker?


Baltimore Ravens’ kicker

Justin Tucker

is a perfect 110 for 110 on extra point attempts in his NFL career. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Extra points for the Baltimore Ravens are going to look different next season. The NFL owners decided Tuesday that the extra point would be pushed back to the 15-yard line for the 2015 season, which will be equivalent to a 33-yard field goal.

For most kickers, the new 33-yard extra point is still a chip shot. However, Ravens fans remember all too well a certain 32-yard missed field goal from Billy Cundiff during the AFC Championship game in the Ravens’ 2011 playoff run.

Current Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker has perfect numbers when it comes to PAT attempts and even field goal attempts within 37 yards for his NFL career. However, Cundiff was near perfect that season and was perfect in the fourth quarter the entire year, until that kick against the New England Patriots.

So while, according to the numbers, the rule change may not affect Tucker, the mentality of the kicks will change. In a pressure situation for Cundiff, a simple 32-yard field goal ended up sending the Patriots to the Super Bowl instead of the Ravens.

Justin Tucker has perfect numbers when it comes to PAT attempts

The opposing defense’s mindset will change also. They will no longer be confined to the end zone but will have more room to prepare to block the attempt. The rule change also includes that defenses can return a missed PAT or two-point attempt for two points of their own.

The defense will have its own change in mindset in how they approach PATs. Because of the extra room, the defense will most likely set up differently, so a kicker, even Tucker, will have to approach the extra point differently to compensate. The kicking team will also have to adjust.

Many of these changes cannot be imagined until it happens in a game. The situation of the game will determine how the kicker approaches the kick. The extra point could tie the game or could put a team ahead to win the game with no time remaining.

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Tucker told staff writer Ryan Mink that the most stressful kick of his career was an extra point against the Denver Broncos during the Ravens’ Super Bowl run in 2012. His extra point was going to tie the game after Jacoby Jones’s 70-yard touchdown catch.

Even for someone who is 110 for 110 in PAT attempts in his NFL career, the situation dictates how the kicker approaches the play. Whether it is an 18-yard extra point attempt or a 33-yard attempt, the effect the rule change has will be determined by how the kickers approach it.

“For me, it just means I get more field goals in games,” Tucker said in the same article. “The only difference is it’s a 33-yard field goal worth one point.”

The numbers say the rule change will have very little impact on the Ravens with Tucker’s impressive record. However, fans know too well that what is considered a no-brainer can be turned into an impossible play with the right pressure, even for the very best. Now with PATs at the same distance as short field goals, this pressure could spread to extra points.

Next: Baltimore Ravens: Will Kyle Arrington Help the Injury-Prone Defense?