Justin Tucker converts fifth game-winning field goal in his young career

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

November 10, 2013|By Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun

Ravens kicker Justin Tucker clutched the football Sunday afternoon as he headed up the tunnel into the locker room.

It was worth keeping after Tucker delivered the game-winning field goal on a 46-yard kick to seal the Ravens' 20-17 overtime victory Sunday over the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium.

Long snapper Morgan Cox sprinted over to secure the ball for Tucker after it sailed through the uprights.

"That was the fastest I've ever seen Morgan run," Tucker said. "I'm very appreciative. Morgan made a beeline over there."

The field goal marks the fifth career game-winner for Tucker nine games into his second NFL season, and his 16th kick in a row without a miss since misfiring on two field goals during a 14-6 win over the Cleveland Browns in the second game of the season.

Tucker had to account for the elements a bit on a gusty day, but the wind was behind him on the final kick. It had plenty of distance as he connected for the clutch field goal.

"I wouldn't say worried, but we always take it into consideration," Tucker said. "This isn't unusual. We ended up getting the wind behind us, it was kind of a cross-wind. We had a plan. The ball wasn't going to move too much. We just figured we'd just hit it as close down the middle as possible and give it a shot."

During the fourth quarter, Tucker said he had an inkling that he might be called upon for a pivotal kick when the topic was broached by kicking consultant Randy Brown.

"As soon as they scored their first touchdown to bring them within seven, Randy smiles at me and I smile right back at him," Tucker said. "He says, 'You and I are the only two people in this stadium that know exactly what's up right now.' Sure enough, the game comes down to three points in overtime."

Webb rebounds

One week after a rough outing where he was faked off his feet by Cleveland Browns wide receiver Davone Bess on a touchdown, cornerback Lardarius Webb had a resurgent game.

It was arguably Webb's top performance of the season as he recorded his first interception this year and he deflected a game-high six passes. Webb hadn't intercepted a pass since last season when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

"I feel like I'm getting better and better," Webb said. "I'm feeling healthy. I had a great week of practice. We got to keep working and build on this game. We had to be on point. We had a nice game."

Except for surrendering a game-tying, 51-yard Hail Mary touchdown to wide receiver A.J. Green, who finished with eight catches for 151 yards on 15 targets, the secondary had a strong game. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was intercepted three times and completed just 24-of-51 passes.

"Our secondary played tremendously well," coach John Harbaugh said. "Everybody is going to talk about the last play, which is a shame. I thought the pressure was very good, but our secondary covered a very talented and gifted receiving corps all day."

Dalton under duress

Led by outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, the Ravens sacked Dalton five times for the second-most they've recorded in a game this sea son.

The Ravens are now 7-0 in games with five sacks or more.

Defensive coordinator Dean Pees occasionally lined up Dumervil and Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs in overloads on the same side. Dumervil led the defense with 2.5 sacks with defensive linemen Arthur Jones and DeAngelo Tyson recording one sack apiece, and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee splitting one sack with Dumervil.

"[Pees] had a hell of a scheme dialed up for us, and props to our linebackers coach [Ted Monachino]," said Dumervil, who has eight sacks this year. "It's good when you have a [2011] Defensive Player of the Year like Suggs that can move around. Not all pass rushers can flip like that, and for me to be able to feed off that is great."

Dalton was hit nine times as the Ravens also forced him to throw it early with Webb blitzing off the edge.

"I thought our defensive coaches did a great job of coaching the pass-rush lanes," Harbaugh said. "Pass-rush lanes were very disciplined. Our one-on-one pass rushes were really excellent. And then the blitzes were just well timed.

"We got some good pressure from our nickel, from our linebackers and our free safeties. [Pees] did a good job of mixing up all of the pressures. What makes that work is the coverage behind the pressures, so you can't get a quick throw out."

Injury wrap up

Left offensive guard A.Q. Shipley left the game in the second half with a neck stinger before going back in the game after being replaced by Jah Reid.

Shipley went through the NFL protocol under league concussion guidelines, but was determined to be free of symptoms.

Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata injured his left knee in the first quarter, but returned to the game in the second quarter.

Middle linebacker Daryl Smith played through hamstring and lower back injuries and had nine tackles. He limped off the field in overtime and was replaced by Josh Bynes, but said it wasn't serious.

Quiet game for Rice

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