In just his second pro season in the NFL, the confident, energetic, Terio-dancing kicker for the Baltimore Ravens has been named the team’s MVP for the 2013 season.
Selected by the local media, Justin Tucker received 20 votes, finishing ahead of runner-up at inside linebacker, Daryl Smith who notched ten votes. Tucker becomes the first special teams player to receive the award since its inception in 2003.
Tucker, dependable as they come, has been the one player the Ravens have relied on all season while the offense has struggled to find itself. Tucker is 35-for-38 this season and six-of-seven from 50+ yards, including the amazing 61-yard field goal that beat the Detroit Lions last week on Monday Night Football.
His streak of 33 consecutive field goals made has been a bright spot this season as he challenged Matt Stover’s team record of 36 consecutive field goals made between 2005 and 2006. Tucker however, has a chance to tie Stover’s team record for field goals made in a season if he can connect on one Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati against the Bengals.
“It’s a cool deal to be recognized in that way by the local media,” Tucker told reporters. “At the same time, we’re not all about individual accolades. While they’re nice, we’re about getting team wins and playing January football.”
While the likelihood that January football is shrinking for the Baltimore Ravens this season, Tucker winning the team’s MVP award shows you how far this team has fallen in terms of offensive firepower this season with no other true candidates worthy of recognition.
Before Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots, Tucker accounted for 17 field goals in the last five weeks. He did not attempt a FG in the win over the Minnesota Vikings, but scored every point in the Ravens victory over Detroit.
Tucker has booted two game-winning field goals in 2013 against the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals, so even with a record of 8-7, Tucker’s right leg is proof that without it, the Ravens would be in a far worse position than they currently find themselves in.