Jay Feely: ‘Unquestionable’ That Ravens K Justin Tucker Is Best To Ever Play His Position

Baltimore Ravens place kicker Justin Tucker has amassed quite a resume throughout the course of his NFL career. His career field-goal percentage is better than 90 percent. He has consistently shown the ability to knock 50-plus yard field goals through the uprights on a year-in, year-out basis. And on Sept. 26, Justin Tucker kicked an NFL-record 66-yarder to seal Baltimore’s 19-17 win against the Detroit Lions.

For longtime NFL kicker and current CBS Sports NFL analyst and kicking expert Jay Feely, who played in 211 games during 14 professional seasons, Tucker is in a league of his own.

“It’s unquestionable that he is the greatest of all time to ever play that position,” Feely said on Glenn Clark Radio Sept. 27. “You look at his career, he’s 91 percent for his career. He has as many seasons over 90 percent as seasons under 90 percent. Just to give that context, I was hoping just to have a year or two in my whole career over 90 percent. That used to be the gold standard. … He’s done it for his entire career.”

Tucker is tops in league history in accuracy (90.58 percent), but that isn’t all. He has gone 16-for-16 on field goals taken within the final minute of a game during his 10-year career (147 games), showing up for the Ravens time after time as the game clock sits dangerously close to triple zeroes.

“I know how hard it is to do that. I know how hard it is to go into those situations and handle that pressure and to make those kicks, whether it’s a 30-yard field goal or a 40-yard field goal or a 60-yard field goal,” Feely said.

Tucker’s run has been nothing short of remarkable. Even before he topped longtime kicker Matt Prater’s record for the longest field goal (set at 64 yards in 2013 while Prater played for the Denver Broncos), Tucker’s statistics had been astonishing.

Tucker, who entered the league in 2012 out of Texas, has had just one season in the NFL with a field-goal conversion percentage below 85 percent. He has converted more than 95 percent of his field goals in two separate seasons, kicking at 96.6 percent in 2019 and 97.4 percent in 2016. Both seasons contributed to his four-time Pro-Bowl and four-time All-Pro resume.

It all makes Tucker the best to ever kick, according to Feely.

“That’s who Justin Tucker is now,” Feely said. “He has done it better than anybody has ever done it before because he does it consistently, every single year, and he does it in the biggest moments.”

Feely is certainly familiar with great NFL place kickers. He was in the league the same time as Adam Vinatieri, whom Feely regards as one of the best late-game kickers in NFL history. Vinatieri’s 24 year career is full of accolades, but Feely says that Tucker still has the edge.

“Adam Vinatieri had some bigger kicks because he was able to go into the Super Bowl and have three game-winning kicks in the Super Bowl,” Feely said. “… But Justin Tucker has been better than Adam Vinatieri in his career. If you look at their careers and put them up against each other, it’s not a question of who is a better kicker over the course of their career.”

Tucker narrowly missed a chance to add another game-winning kick to his ledger in the Ravens’ Week 1 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. His 47-yard field goal put the Ravens up by three with 37 seconds to play, but the Raiders drove down the field and tied the game before time expired and went on to take the victory in overtime.

“Not only does [Tucker] make the kicks when you need them the most, that’s what you’re defined by as a kicker, he’s perfect on those last-second, game-winning field goals,” Feely said. “But also, he makes all the kicks throughout the game, throughout the season, at a better rate than anyone has ever done it before, every single year. He is so remarkably consistent.”

For more from Feely, listen to the full interview here:

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