Rookie kicker Justin Tucker knew he wasn’t going through the NFL season without a miss.
So when the moment finally came Thursday night, he seemed far more philosophical than deflated.
After all, he had made eight straight field goals in his fledgling career before pushing a 47-yard attempt wide right with 2:13 remaining in the third quarter and the Ravens leading 16-10 on their way to a 23-16 win over the Cleveland Browns.
“I’m not about excuses,” he said of the miss. “I don’t think anybody around here is. So what I’ll do is look at the film, see if I did anything particularly different, look at it with Randy (Brown, the Ravens’ kicking consultant) and Jerry (Rosburg, special teams coordinator) and evaluate it and go from there.”
“But it is what it is. It’s hard to be perfect and that’s what we’re all striving for.”
In the Ravens first three games, Tucker had hit field goals of 46, 40, 39, 56, 51, 48 and 27 yards.
He also hit a 45-yard field with 10:03 remaining in the second quarter against the Browns to give the Ravens a 9-0 lead.
Tucker refused to use the rain soaking M&T Bank Stadium for much of the game as an excuse.
“No. In this division, there’s always going to be weather. We’re in September and experiencing a little rain. But when there’s a little bit of rain and it’s 35 degrees outside, then it’s going to be a different story. It’s just one of those things you gotta prepare for. You take it for what it’s worth and try to treat every kick the same.
“It didn’t feel like anything was too different,” he said of the pushed 47-yarder. “I probably missed it by a foot or two. I mean, it’s probably one of those things where I didn’t crush it like I wanted to, probably aimed it a little bit.
“But the hardest one to make is the one after a miss. So I made the extra point (after the Ravens third-quarter touchdown on a one-yard run bY quarterback Joe Flacco) and had a good kick afterward. So it’s all about bouncing back when you play for a team like this.”