JACKSONVILLE – In Terrell Suggs fashion, the Ravens’ linebacker described what it felt like to have Joe Flacco as a quarterback, and Justin Tucker as a placekicker.
“You want a quarterback with ice in his veins, and you damn sure want a kicker with ice in his veins,” said Suggs, after the Ravens escaped Jacksonville with a 19-17 victory that kept them unbeaten at 3-0.
Tucker delivered again for the Ravens, making four field goals, including the 54-yard game-winner with 67 seconds left to play. Having a kicker as clutch as Tucker, with range well beyond 50 yards, is another reason why opponents dread seeing Tucker trot onto the field. Leave the game up to Tucker, and it’s game over.
“There’s definitely butterflies,” said Tucker, when asked how he feels kicking game-winners. “We get into these situations and we’ve had a good handful of them in my time here. Do they get easier? I’m not really sure. But I can tell you the more opportunities and we have and I successfully convert, the more confidence I have.”
Flacco will never be the smoothest quarterback in the NFL, but he remains one of the most poised. His performance on Sunday (29 of 40, 214 yards, on rushing TD, two interceptions) was all over the map. There was the good Flacco – at one point he set a franchise record by completing 21 straight passes. There was the bad Flacco – two interceptions during the final seven minutes that almost cost the Ravens the game.
But on the Ravens’ final drive, Flacco completed four passes, including a fourth-down pass to Steve Smith Sr. that helped move Tucker into range.
There was a fine line between winning and losing Sunday, and once again the Ravens cut it close. But in that situation, who would you rather have as your quarterback, Flacco or Blake Bortles of the Jaguars (24 of 38, two touchdowns, three interceptions)? Even when Flacco doesn’t play nearly his best, he doesn’t get flustered.
“I would’ve liked to have made it easier for him (Tucker), myself, and all the people back in Baltimore,” Flacco said. “There’s no need to be giving people heart attacks every single week. But if you win you win.”
And once again, having Tucker and Flacco during the final minutes was a winning combination.
MORE RAVENS: Flacco sets new franchise record vs. Jaguars
Quinton Dunbar had one heck of a day in New York on Sunday in the Redskins 29-27 win over the Giants.
Dunbar grabbed an interception and made a catch in the same game, something no Redskins player has done since Champ Bailey on Christmas Eve in 2000. That was the last days of Bill Clinton's presidency, and four years prior to the invention of Facebook.
Dunbar's impressive feat was not done in vain either. Both the catch and interception were huge plays for Washington, one bigger than the next, in a game that swung back and forth for four quarters.
In the third quarter, Dunbar lined up as the gunner as the Redskins went to punt. Only the Redskins faked the punt, and Tress Way fired a pass down the left sideline to Dunbar. It was no easy catch either; Dunbar had to jump for the ball and had a defender right on him.
Later, as the Giants were driving to extend their fourth quarter lead and deep in 'Skins territory, Dunbar made an excellent one-handed leaping interception. It was a very athletic play and gave Kirk Cousins and the Washington offense the ball on what would prove to be a scoring drive.
In 2015 Dunbar proved his versatility to be a real asset for the Redskins. A receiver in college at the University of Florida, Washington flipped Dunbar to the other side of the ball to be a cornerback. As the 'Skins took off in the second half of last season, Dunbar came to be a integral part of the teams secondary.
That same versatility showed Sunday in New York, and now it has Dunbar's name next to Champ Bailey in the Redskins history books.
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