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Friday, November 29, 2013
Justin Tucker is Baltimore Ravens' MVP

By Jamison Hensley

BALTIMORE -- Justin Tucker isn't just the hottest kicker in the NFL. He's the hottest player on the Baltimore Ravens.

Tucker has carried the Ravens' scoring in the past two wins, accounting for 29 of the team's 41 points. He has made nine field goals in a span of five days, including a career-high five in Thursday night's 22-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Justin Tucker
Justin Tucker had much to celebrate on Thursday night in Baltimore's win over the Steelers.
With four weeks remaining in the season, it's a no-brainer that Tucker is the Ravens' Most Valuable Player. It's not even a debate. In a season where the Ravens have struggled with their consistency, Tucker has remained the one constant week after week.

Joe Flacco, the Super Bowl MVP, has thrown a career-high 14 interceptions this year. Ray Rice, their most versatile offensive weapon, is averaging 2.9 yards per carry and 5.0 yards per reception. Even Terrell Suggs has cooled lately, going four straight games without a sack.

Then there is Tucker, who has hit 27 straight field goals, the NFL's longest streak this season. No one other than Tucker has currently made more than 21 in a row.

Tucker also owns the second-longest streak in Ravens history and is 10 away from breaking Matt Stover's record of 36 straight. The last time Tucker missed was Week 2, which was 75 days ago.

“I really don’t even acknowledge when people tell me that I’m on some sort of streak or anything,” Tucker said. “ I just feel like I’m doing my job. I’ve got two guys that are on the field that are helping me do it to the best of the abilities. That’s where I get my confidence from, what we do out on the practice field at Owings Mills. We feel like we’re unique. We work, we put in some hours. We pay very close attention to detail, and as long as we’re doing those things, we know we always have a chance to be successful.”

Tucker, who went undrafted out of Texas a year ago, is on the verge of being the third Ravens kicker to reach the Pro Bowl. His 29 field goals currently lead the NFL, and his 93.5 success rate is sixth best in the league.

This month is when he's made a name for himself:
Tucker has already been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice in the past three weeks and could receive it again after Thursday night's performance. He was also named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November.

“Well, what more can you say?" coach John Harbaugh said.

You can say Tucker is the Ravens' MVP, and I'm quite sure no one is going to argue.