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Ravens kicker Tucker confident he won't miss

Ravens kicker Tucker confident he won't miss

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) If the Baltimore Ravens need a field goal in the waning seconds of the AFC championship game, they'll call upon a rookie with little regard for history.

Justin Tucker knows all about the 32-yard kick that Billy Cundiff missed last January against the New England Patriots, costing the Ravens a chance to force overtime with a trip to the Super Bowl hanging in the balance.

None of that bothers Tucker.

``What's in the past is in the past,'' he said. ``Anything that's happened in the past year, two years, five years, 10 years, or just the last several weeks, that's all null and void now because we just have a singular task at hand - to beat New England.''

Cundiff's miss in the AFC title game was among the most agonizing plays in Ravens history. With Baltimore trailing 23-20 in the final minute, Lee Evans dropped a pass in the end zone before Cundiff's kick sailed wide left to end the Ravens' season.

``I moved on right after it happened,'' Cundiff said recently. "Because I think in order to have success in this league, you have to wipe the slate clean every year. You can't drag things in, whether it's positive or negative, because each year is brand new. (But) would I like to have that kick back? Yeah, most definitely I would.''

Cundiff was invited back to training camp last summer and was favored to beat out Tucker, a rookie out of the University of Texas. But coach John Harbaugh picked Tucker, who went on to validate the decision by making every clutch kick from September through last weekend.

Tucker went 30 for 33 on field goal tries during the regular season, including game-winners against New England and San Diego. Last week, he nailed a 47-yarder in the second overtime to give the Ravens a 38-35 win over top-seed Denver.

Tucker's accuracy is exceeded only by his self-assuredness. If asked to win the game Sunday night, Tucker said he won't flinch.

``I will be confident because we have a routine we follow,'' he said. ``We do what we know and do what we trust.''

Morgan Cox snaps the ball, Sam Koch puts it down and Tucker kicks it. It's as easy as 1-2-3.

Recalling Tucker's game-winner against the Broncos, Ravens special teams coach Jerry Rosburg said, ``He enjoys those moments. You could tell when he went out there it wasn't intimidating to him. He was ready to seize the opportunity. He made a great kick after a great hold and a great snap. It was fun to watch.''

Tucker is a rookie in name only. Sure, he was kicking for Texas a little of a year ago, but after signing as a free agent with Baltimore he was forced to grow up in a hurry.

``I kind of did away with that whole rookie notion when I got here just because I had to come in and compete against a guy who had a lot of success,'' Tucker said. ``So I could never afford to think like a rookie or perform like one. If I ever let myself think like that, I'd be doing everybody in this building a disservice.''

If Tucker walks onto the field Sunday night with a chance to win the game, his teammates probably won't be thinking back to last year. They'll be looking forward to a trip to New Orleans.

``This year, I've never been nervous about Justin Tucker kicking a field goal,'' Ravens tackle Haloti Ngata said. ``I think everyone can tell that he has a lot of confidence and he kicks really well. I think, with that, people just believe in him.''

Said Rosburg: ``He's got a very confident persona. He's a confident young man in a lot of things he does.''

Tucker's kick against Denver salvaged an otherwise horrible day for Baltimore's special teams. Not only did the Ravens give up a 90-yard punt return to Trindon Holliday, but they also yielded a 104-yard kickoff return to the same player.

``I was certainly upset,'' Rosburg said. ``When you give up two touchdowns, that's unacceptable in a season let alone one game. We're all very fortunate, those of us in the special teams room, that the rest of the team played as well as it did to still secure the victory.''

One week earlier, the Ravens held Indianapolis to zero yards on four punts and five kickoffs. Rosburg cited plenty of reasons for the breakdown against the Broncos, including a crosswind and missed tackles.

Fortunately for Baltimore, Tucker came through in Denver. The Ravens are confident that, if needed, he will again in New England.

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Fantasy Football: Updated Week 4 rankings

Fantasy Football: Updated Week 4 rankings

Updated Week 4 fantasy football rankings following news on several key players, including Bills receiver Sammy Watkins placed on injured reserve. 

Quarterbacks

1.  Philip Rivers, SD -- The Saints defense has only allowed three touchdown passes, but they're not stopping anyone. Opponents are averagng over 300 passing yards per game. Look for Rivers top that at home in what projects as another shootout.
 
2.  Cam Newton, CAR
 
3.  Drew Brees, NO
 
4.  Andrew Luck, IND
 
5.  Matthew Stafford, DET
 
6.  Kirk Cousins, WAS
 
7.  Andy Dalton, CIN
 
8.  Carson Palmer, ARI
 
9.  Blake Bortles, JAC
 
10.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
 
11.  Derek Carr, OAK
 
12.  Joe Flacco, BAL
 
13.  Matt Ryan, ATL
 
14.  Russell Wilson, SEA - The Seahawks offensive line is a mess, the Jets defensive front rocks and Wilson isn't 100 percent. Don't be shy about sitting him for comparable option.
 
15.  Dak Prescott, DAL
 
16.  Trevor Siemian, DEN
 
17.  Eli Manning, NYG
 
18.  Jameis Winston, TB
 
19.  Alex Smith, KC
 
20.  Ryan Tannehill, MIA
 
21.  Jimmy Garoppolo, NE
 
22.  Sam Bradford, MIN
 
23.  Brian Hoyer, CHI -- For those in need, Hoyer faces a Lions defense that has allowed an NFL-high 10 touchdown passes.
 
24.  Brock Osweiler, HOU
 
25.  Tyrod Taylor, BUF
 
26.  Marcus Mariota, TEN
 
27.  Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ
 
28.  Blaine Gabbert, SF
 
29.  Jacoby Brissett, NEQ
 
30.  Cody Kessler, CLEQ

Running Backs

1. David Johnson, ARI
 
2.  Le'Veon Bell, PIT - He's baaaaaack. Adjust your lineups. Not the easiest of returning matchups, but Kansas City hasn't been exactly stout against the run so far.
 
3.  Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
 
4.  C.J. Anderson, DEN
 
5.  Melvin Gordon, SD
 
6.  Lamar Miller, HOU
 
7.  LeGarrette Blount, NE
 
8.  Mark Ingram, NO
 
9.  DeMarco Murray, TEN
 
10.  LeSean McCoy, BUF
 
11.  Todd Gurley, LA
 
12.  Carlos Hyde, SF
 
13.  Christine Michael, SEA
 
14.  Jeremy Hill, CIN
 
15.  Matt Forte, NYJ
 
16.  Frank Gore, IND
 
17.  Charles Sims, TB
 
18.  Devonta Freeman, ATL
 
19.  Matt Jones, WAS
 
20.  Isaiah Crowell, CLE -- The Redskins are not good stopping the run and the Browns will want to help rookie QB Cody Kesseler  by featuring Crowell and Duke Johnson.
 
21.  Jordan Howard, CHI
 
22.  Spencer Ware, KC
 
23.  Latavius Murray, OAK
 
24.  Theo Riddick, DET
 
25.  Jerick McKinnon, MIN
 
26.  Tevin Coleman, ATL
 
27.  Giovani Bernard, CIN
 
28.  Orleans Darkwa, NYG -- Tricky call here since Rashard Jennings looks like a game-time decision. If Jennings sits and with no Shane Vereen, Darkwa would receve 18+ touches.
 
29.  Dwayne Washington, DET
 
30.  Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR
 
31.  Chris Ivory, JACQ
 
32.  Terrance West, BAL
 
33.  T.J. Yeldon, JAC
 
34.  Duke Johnson, CLE
 
35.  Justin Forsett, BAL
 
36.  Matt Asiata, MIN
 
37.  Fozzy Whittaker, CAR
 
38.  DeAngelo Williams, PIT
 
39.  Derrick Henry, TEN
 
40.  Jamaal Charles, KC -- Good news! Charles (knee) will reportedly make his season debut. However, Spencer Ware likely remains heavily involved for now as Kansas City works its star back into action. Monitor news Sunday morning if you're considering using Charles as an RB2 or Flex.
 
41.  James White, NE
 
42.  Chris Thompson, WAS
 
43.  Damien Williams, MIA
 
44.  Kenyan Drake, MIA
 
45.  Jay Ajayi, MIA
 
46.  Alfred Morris, DAL
 
47.  Travaris Cadet, NO
 
48.  Robert Kelley, WAS
 
49.  Bilal Powell, NYJ
 
50.  DeAndre Washington, OAK
 
51.  Shaun Draughn, SF
 
52.  Dexter McCluster, SD
 
53.  Paul Perkins, NYG
 
54.  Chris Johnson, ARI
 
55.  Jalen Richard, OAK
 
56.  Devontae Booker, DEN
 
57.  Mike Gillislee, BUF
 
58.  Bobby Rainey, NYG
 
59.  Jacquizz Rodgers, TB
 
60.  Robert Turbin, IND

Wide Receivers

1.  Antonio Brown, PIT
 
2.  A.J. Green, CIN
 
3.  Allen Robinson, JAC
 
4.  Julio Jones, ATL
 
5.  Odell Beckham Jr., NYG
 
6.  DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
 
7.  Marvin Jones, DET
 
8.  Alshon Jeffery, CHI
 
9.  Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
 
10.  Travis Benjamin, SD -- The DFS stack of the week? Benjamin and Philip Rivers against the Saints' terrible secondary. Factor in the likelihood Antonio Gates sits and Benjamin could get 15+ targets.
 
11.  T.Y. Hilton, IND
 
12.  Brandin Cooks, NO
 
13.  Amari Cooper, OAK
 
14.  Kelvin Benjamin, CAR
 
15.  Mike Evans, TB
 
16.  Demaryius Thomas, DEN
 
17.  DeSean Jackson, WAS
 
18.  Jarvis Landry, MIAQ
 
19.  Doug Baldwin, SEA
 
20.  Julian Edelman, NE
 
21.  Stefon Diggs, MIN
 
22.  Emmanuel Sanders, DEN -- His 27 targets nearly doubles teammates Demaryius Thomas. Now faces a Bucs defense allowing the third most points to fantasy wide receivers.
 
23.  Jeremy Maclin, KC
 
24.  Michael Crabtree, OAK
 
25.  Terrelle Pryor, CLE
 
26.  Willie Snead, NO
 
27.  Tyrell Williams, SD
 
28.  Sterling Shepard, NYG
 
29.  Brandon Marshall, NYJ
 
30.  Steve Smith, BAL -- Prediction: Smith goes for 90+ yards and a touchdown. Jalen Ramsey angered him. Sorry, Oakland. This ranking could rise by Sunday.
 
31.  Will Fuller, HOU
 
32.  Allen Hurns, JAC
 
33.  Devante Parker, MIAQ
 
34.  Mike Wallace, BAL
 
35.  Michael Floyd, ARIQ
 
36.  Jamison Crowder, WAS
 
37.  Phillip Dorsett, INDQ
 
38.  Golden Tate, DET
 
39.  Tavon Austin, LAQ
 
40.  Tajae Sharpe, TENQ
 
41.  Quincy Enunwa, NYJ -- No Eric Decker means more work for the impressive Enunwa
 
42.  Tyler Lockett, SEAQ
 
43.  Cole Beasley, DAL
 
44.  Michael Thomas, NO
 
45.  Torrey Smith, SFQ
 
46.  Mohamed Sanu, ATLQ
 
47.  Terrance Williams, DAL
 
48.  Victor Cruz, NYG
 
49.  Pierre Garcon, WAS
 
50.  Dez Bryant, DALQ
 
51.  Kevin White, CHI
 
52.  Kenny Britt, LAQ
 
53.  Anquan Boldin, DET
 
54.  Chris Hogan, NE
 
55.  Marquise Goodwin, BUF
 
56.  Vincent Jackson, TB
 
57.  Robert Woods, BUF
 
58.  Dontrelle Inman, SD
 
59.  Markus Wheaton, PIT
 
60.  Kenny Stills, MIA

Tight Ends

1.  Greg Olsen, CAR
 
2.  Jordan Reed, WAS
 
3.  Rob Gronkowski, NE -- Patriots list Gronk as questionable. It would be understandable why owners would fret using him after last week's bait and switch. Just not sure how you can though assuming the Sunday morning news isn't scary.
 
4.  Travis Kelce, KC
 
5.  Eric Ebron, DET
 
6.  Dennis Pitta, BAL
 
7.  Kyle Rudolph, MIN
 
8.  Coby Fleener, NO
 
9.  Julius Thomas, JACQ
 
10.  Jason Witten, DAL
 
11.  Zach Miller, CHI
 
12.  Delanie Walker, TENQ
 
13.  Dwayne Allen, IND
 
14.  Jimmy Graham, SEAQ
 
15.  Gary Barnidge, CLE
 
16.  Jacob Tamme, ATL
 
17.  Hunter Henry, SD
 
18.  Martellus Bennett, NE
 
19.  Jack Doyle, IND
 
20.  Charles Clay, BUF
 
21.  Cameron Brate, TB
 
22.  Clive Walford, OAK
 
23.  Jesse James, PIT
 
24.  Larry Donnell, NYG
 
25.  Vance McDonald, SF

Defenses

1.  Arizona Cardinals
 
2.  Denver Broncos
 
3.  Seattle Seahawks
 
4.  Houston Texans
 
5.  New England Patriots
 
6.  Minnesota Vikings
 
7.  Carolina Panthers
 
8.  Cincinnati Bengals
 
9.  New York Jets
 
10.  Washington Redskins -- Home game against a rookie QB in his first road start screams streaming option
 
11.  Kansas City Chiefs
 
12.  Pittsburgh Steelers
 
13.  Baltimore Ravens
 
14.  Los Angeles Rams
 
15.  New York Giants
 
16.  Buffalo Bills
 
17.  Detroit Lions
 
18.  Miami Dolphins
 
19.  Indianapolis Colts
 
20.  Dallas Cowboys

Kickers

1.  Stephen Gostkowski, NE
 
2.  Adam Vinatieri, IND
 
3.  Chandler Catanzaro, ARI
 
4.  Justin Tucker, BAL
 
5.  Dan Bailey, DAL
 
6.  Steven Hauschka, SEA
 
7.  Graham Gano, CAR
 
8.  Josh Lambo, SD
 
9.  Brandon McManus, DEN
 
10.  Dustin Hopkins, WAS
 
11.  Blair Walsh, MIN
 
12.  Matt Prater, DET
 
13.  Cairo Santos, KC
 
14.  Will Lutz, NO
 
15.  Chris Boswell, PIT
 
16.  Josh Brown, NYG -- Minnesota has allowed the most field goal attempts (12) thru three weeks. 
 
17.  Matt Bryant, ATL
 
18.  Nick Novak, HOU
 
19.  Mike Nugent, CINQ
 
20.  Sebastian Janikowski, OAK

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Ravens' Ronnie Stanley question mark for Week 4 after missing third straight practice

Ravens' Ronnie Stanley question mark for Week 4 after missing third straight practice

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens coach John Harbaugh would not rule out rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley for Sunday’s game against the Raiders, although Stanley (foot) missed his third consecutive practice Friday.

James Hurst remained the likely replacement for Stanley if he could not play. Stanley has been very solid in the first three games of his NFL career, and his presence protecting quarterback Joe Flacco's blindside would be missed.

Stanley was not in the locker room after practice. Asked if Stanley’s injury could linger for a significant period, Harbaugh said, “I don’t see it that way, from what I’ve been told. I still think he has a chance for Sunday. You’ll see the (injury) report coming out later, but we’re not going to rule him out.”

Meanwhile, left guard Alex Lewis (concussion) was back at practice Friday, which was really a walkthrough, after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Harbaugh sounded optimistic Lewis would play if he continued to pass concussion protocol.

“I think Lewis is fine if he cleared the concussion (protocol)," Harbaugh said. "It wouldn’t be a game-time (decision) in his case, if that’s true, and I’m assuming it is.”

If Lewis could not play, Ryan Jensen would likely be the starting left guard.

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