DETROIT — Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker set an NFL record for the longest field goal on Sunday, connecting on a 66-yard attempt with three seconds left to beat the Detroit Lions, 19-17.
The previous record was 64 yards, set in 2013 by Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater, according to NFL.com.
“When it went off his foot, I thought it had a chance,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters after the game. “He’s the best kicker in NFL history.”
Prater, who now plays for the Arizona Cardinals, failed in a 68-yard attempt Sunday with two seconds left in the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was a double failure, as Jacksonville’s Jamal Agnew returned the kick for an NFL-tying 109-yard touchdown return.
That’s hard to dispute. Tucker, whose 61-yard field goal won the Ravens’ last game at Ford Field eight years ago, was his previous longest field goal made, according to ESPN.
For more deja vu, the Lions also lost a similar game on a final-second, long field goal. On Nov. 8, 1970, Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints kicked a 63-yard field goal at Tulane Stadium as time expired to give the Saints -- wait for it -- a 19-17 victory against Detroit. At the time, it was the longest field goal in NFL history and the first to surpass 60 yards.
The previous NFL record before Dempsey’s kick had been 56 yards.
Dempsey’s record was tied by Denver’s Jason Elam in 1998 and matched by Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski in 2011 and San Francisco’s David Akers the following season.
Prater set the new standard in 2014, which held up until Tucker’s heroics on Sunday.
Lions kicker Ryan Santoso’s go-ahead 35-yard field goal with 1:04 left put Detroit ahead 17-16, but Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson found wide receiver Sammy Watkins for a 36-yard gain on fourth-and-13, The Baltimore Sun reported. Jackson spiked the ball with seven seconds remaining and threw an incompletion, setting the stage for Tucker, whose kick bounced off the crossbar and through for the game-winning points.
“That one was something else,” Tucker said in a postgame television interview. “I don’t really have the words to do justice to the moment. (Jackson) and crew getting down there just far enough to give us that game. All I can say is trust. Trust God, trust this team, we got something special.”
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