On Christmas Day, the Baltimore Ravens (12-3), led by quarterback Lamar Jackson's nth MVP-caliber outing, earned a significant 33-19 road victory against the San Francisco 49ers (11-4) in Santa Clara, solidifying their position atop the NFL and the AFC by extension and becoming the only team with 12 wins through 15 games played this season.
Jackson delivered a standout performance, reinforcing his bid for a second MVP title with oddsmakers putting him atop the ladder on Tuesday and following Monday's results. Jackson completed 23-of-36 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns against no interceptions. He also added 45 rushing yards on seven carries.
That was great, but it's fair to say that the Ravens' defense was even better as a unit than Lamar was at leading the offense. Kyle Hamilton, just to name one player, snatched a couple of interceptions in what ended up being a night with four Brock Purdy passes intercepted and another one picked off San Darnold, who was forced into action as Purdy went down with a stinger in the fourth quarter.
While the offensive and defensive units played to the best of their talents in Baltimore’s 12th win of the season, an unexpected hero and member of the special teams of the Ravens slowly but surely found a way to impact the game more than anyone else: GOAT kicker Justin Tucker, the greats of all time at it.
Tucker's impact is fairly evident, and in fact, his contributions alone would have served Baltimore well to beat the Niners until they scored a garbage-time touchdown.
Before they did so, Tucker's four field goals (and extra points following Baltimore's touchdowns) had earned the Ravens 15 points and would have the scoreboard at 15-12 in favor of the Flock even removing all other scoring plays from Baltimore's side. How about that!?
Tucker kicked four field goals and added three extra points to his tally on Christmas night in Santa Clara, bringing the presents to the Ravens and a bag full of coal to the Niners.
Tucker was flawless. He went 4-for-4 on field goas splitting the uprights from distances of 28, 41, 28, and 24 yards in order, and going 3-for-3 on extra-point kicks.
In a season in which Tucker has been below his usual standards, he once more proved to be a key member of the team when called upon. Through Week 16, Tucker is 31-of-36 from the field and 42-of-32 on extra-point kicks. Tucker ranks third in the NFL with 31 FGM but he's a much lower 18th in FG% having hit only 86.1 percent of his tries.