Friday, November 16, 2012
Steelers-Ravens: Could kickers decide it?
By Jamison Hensley
When you break down the Ravens and the Steelers, the names that will come up are the playmakers: Ray Rice, Mike Wallace, LaMarr Woodley and Terrell Suggs.
While all of those players will impact Sunday night, this physical grudge match could be decided by the right feet of Shaun Suisham and Justin Tucker. Five of the past six meetings between these division rivals have been decided by three points, which means the kicking game might figure prominently in the outcome. Suisham and Tucker have been among the best in the NFL this season.
Suisham is 20 of 21 on field goals this season (95.2 percent), a dramatic improvement from last season when he was 23 of 31 (74.2 percent). His only miss this season came from 54 yards late in the fourth quarter in Tennessee, where he tied a career long with a 52-yarder earlier in the game. Suisham has two game-winners this season, including the one in overtime Monday to beat Kansas City.
Tucker, an undrafted rookie, has connected on 17 of 18 field-goal tries (94.4 percent). His four kicks beyond 50 yards is tied for fifth in the NFL. Tucker's only game-winner was a 27-yarder against New England as time expired.