Tucker's late field goal lifts Ravens to 19-17 win at Jags
As his 54-yard field goal split the uprights, Justin Tucker raised both arms in celebration and turned toward Baltimore's bench.
He probably should have taken a bow.
Tucker kicked four field goals, including the long-distance winner with 1:02 remaining, and the Ravens remained unbeaten with a 19-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
The fourth quarter featured four interceptions, a muffed punt, a blocked field goal and a huge fourth-down conversation. The fourth-down play - Joe Flacco's short pass to Steve Smith - helped set up Tucker's kick.
"It was controlled chaos. That's all it is," Smith said. "In the fourth quarter, there are either blowouts or there are nail-biters, and that definitely was a nail-biter. We make it interesting, and I think we make it more interesting than we really like."
The Ravens improved to 3-0 for the third time in franchise history and first time since 2009.
The Jaguars are 0-3 for the third time in the last four years and surely will hear more talk about coach Gus Bradley's job security. Bradley is now 12-39 in four seasons, the second-worst winning percentage of any NFL coach with at least 50 games.
The blame for this one fell on Blake Bortles and an offense that had plenty of chances down the stretch. The Ravens turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions in the fourth - Devin Hester muffed a punt, and Flacco threw back-to-back interceptions - and gave Jacksonville the ball in field-goal range all three times.
The Jaguars came away with three points, thanks to Blake Bortles' second of three interceptions and Jason Myers' blocked field goal.
"We have to stop giving games away," Jaguars veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis said. "Execution down the stretch could have been better. The turnovers, the penalties, you do that in this league, the parity is so good in this league, the margin for error is so small, you can't be out there playing like on some plays like we've never practiced it.
"We've got to go out there and execute. I feel sick right now."
FRANCHISE RECORD: Flacco completed 29 of 40 passes for 214 yards. It doesn't seem like a record-setting outing, but it was. He broke his own franchise record for consecutive completions by connecting on 21 straight. Flacco misfired on four of his first five throws, but then reeled off 21 in a row. The streak ended on Mike Wallace's drop in the end zone early in the third quarter. Flacco's previous record was 14 straight set in 2009.
BRIGHT SPOT: Allen Robinson was Jacksonville's lone bright spot on offense. He finished with seven catches for 57 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 3-yard score in the first quarter and an 11-yarder in the third. After his first TD of the season, Robinson chucked the ball into the stands in a release of frustration.
"In these first couple of games, I may have left some plays out there or I may not have impacted the game how I know I can," Robinson said. "I'm trying to lead this team each and every week."
PENALTY BOOST: Tucker's 42-yard field goal at the end of the first half was huge, and it was helped by two Jacksonville penalties. The Jaguars looked like they had forced a three-and-out, but Malik Jackson was flagged for roughing the passer when he touched Flacco's facemask. Tucker was short on a 57-yarder a few plays later, but Dante Fowler Jr. was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for "leveraging" during the kick. The 15-yard penalty gave Tucker another shot from 42 yards, and he drilled it.
WOE LINE: Injuries forced the Jaguars to shuffle their offensive line for the first time this season. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum (concussion) and center Brandon Linder (knee) were inactive, leaving center Tyler Shatley and guard Chris Reed to make their first career starts. The injuries also forced guard Luke Joeckel to slide back to left tackle. All the movement was evident as Bortles was sacked four times and Jacksonville averaged 2.3 yards a carry.
SLOW START: Bortles now has thrown first-quarter interceptions in every game this season, leading to 17 points for opponents. Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley had the latest, making a leaping, one-handed catch in front of Allen Robinson down the field. The Ravens turned it into a field goal and a 10-0 lead.
IVORY RETURNS: Running back Chris Ivory made his Jaguars debut but was mostly ineffective. Ivory missed the first two games because of a "general medical issue" that required an overnight hospital stay. Ivory was a 1,000-yard rusher with the New York Jets last season. He finished with 14 yards on 12 carries, hobbling to the sideline several times with an apparent knee injury.