Breaking down the turning point in Ravens’ win against Bengals

Ravens, Justin Tucker. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Ravens, Justin Tucker. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh just can’t catch a break.

He received criticism for his decision to go for it on fourth down in Week 4’s loss to the Bills, and in Week 5, he made an equally controversial call to not go for it and settle for a field goal instead in the fourth quarter.

Luckily, his call didn’t lose the game for the Ravens and Baltimore ended up beating Cincinnati 19-17 on a picture-perfect field goal.

So where was the turning point of this game, you ask? One man. Justin Tucker.

In Week 5, the greatest kicker of all time went 4-of-4 on field goal attempts and completed his lone extra point attempt. Tucker scored a 58-yarder earlier in the game without batting an eye, but the real nail-biter was his 43-yard attempt as the clock ran out.

And of course, Tucker made the kick and sealed the Ravens’ victory.

Baltimore Ravens are eternally grateful for kicker Justin Tucker

In this intense AFC North matchup, both Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and Bengals’ Joe Burrow got contained by tough defenses. Jackson played arguably the worst game of the season while Burrow suffered from another inconsistent performance from his offensive line.

This game ultimately came down to smart time management and solid play-calling, and the Ravens got the job done. After blowing double-digit leads against the Bills and Dolphins, Baltimore found a way to close out the game despite a late Bengals touchdown.

Cincy took the lead toward the end of the fourth quarter but made a critical mistake: they left too much time on the clock.

If the Bengals had faced, say, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, they likely would have tried harder to run down the clock, but they gave Jackson just under two minutes to drive down the field for a game-winning field goal attempt.

Even though the Ravens were without their No. 1 wide receiver in Rashod Bateman, the team swiftly moved the ball into field goal range with help from a few clutch Mark Andrews catches and explosive rushes from Lamar Jackson.

Baltimore used their timeouts perfectly to get down the field and give Justin Tucker three seconds to kick the game-ending field goal, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Tucker’s 43-yard completion marked his 61st consecutive made field goal in the fourth quarter or OT, and it was his 19th game-winning kick of his NFL career.

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There’s just a characteristic calmness that surrounds Tucker whenever he steps onto the field. He along with Lamar Jackson belong in a unique class in Baltimore, and on a day when Jackson didn’t play his best football, Tucker, being Tucker, bailed him out like the absolute legend he is.