Baltimore Ravens: Did Justin Tucker Win the Kicking Battle on Thursday Night?

Kyle CaseyCorrespondent IIIAugust 24, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 23: Place kicker Justin Tucker #6 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates a field goal against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on August 23, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Just minutes prior to the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night, the Ravens announced that veteran kicker Billy Cundiff would get the night off. 

That opened the door for rookie kicker Justin Tucker in what was the latest twist in a month-long competition to be the kicker for the Ravens this season.

The decision to sit Cundiff can be looked at in one of two ways. Either the Ravens are impressed with what they've seen with Cundiff and don't need to see more, or Tucker is so much ahead in the competition that he deserved to kick the whole game in preparation for the regular season. 

After watching Tucker kick on Thursday night, it appears that decision was because of the latter.

Tucker converted on two-of-two field goal attempts, including a kick from 53 yards. His consistency in both his accuracy and leg power makes Tucker the favorite to win the kicking job in Baltimore.

And if Tucker's performance on Thursday night wasn't enough to prove that he should be the team's kicker, just ask Cundiff and coach John Harbaugh.

In an interview with after the game, Harbaugh said, "Well we'll see. We have some decision here again next week so we'll just have to see how that goes."

Harbaugh could have brushed off the fact that Tucker kicked the whole game and could've said it wasn't a big deal, but he answered the question much differently. It seems as if he just tried to defer the fact that Tucker has won the team's kicking competition; or is at least very close to winning it.

As for Cundiff? Well, he wasn't too pleased with the team's decision to not let him play against Jacksonville.

"I'll take my services elsewhere," said Cundiff after the game.

Based on the latest developments in the kicking battle, it seems all but certain that Justin Tucker will be the kicker for the Baltimore Ravens this season.