DETROIT – Justin Tucker ended the game as if he was starting it, backing up an extra step or two and kicking the football with every bit of force he had in his right foot.
Tucker set an NFL record with a 66-yard field goal, bouncing it through off the crossbar as time expired to lift the Baltimore Ravens to a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
“That one was more like a kickoff,” he said. “It's like you're a competitor in a long-drive contest. You just let it rip and hope it stays straight.”
The kick topped the 64-yard field goal Matt Prater made for Denver against San Francisco on Dec. 8, 2013.
Lamar Jackson – and perhaps a break from the officials – made the record-breaking kick at Ford Field possible.
On fourth-and-19 from the Baltimore 16, he threw a 36-yard pass to Sammy Watkins to get the Ravens across midfield with 7 seconds left.
The superstar quarterback spiked the ball to stop the clock, and on the next snap, he threw it away after TV footage suggested the play clock expired.
“We'll get an apology, and it doesn't mean anything,” Detroit coach Dan Campbell said.
Then Tucker – who made a 61-yard kick to beat the Lions in Baltimore's previous visit to Detroit eight years ago – came out and made the record-breaking field goal.
Baltimore (2-1) went into the fourth quarter with a 16-7 lead and ended up trailing briefly.
Ryan Santoso made a go-ahead, 35-yard field goal with 1:04 left to give Campbell an opportunity to win his first game with the Lions (0-3).
“It hurts because you put yourself in position to win,” Campbell said. “The silver lining is we're getting better, and I'm proud of the way they competed.”
Santoso was promoted from Detroit's practice squad Saturday after kicker Austin Seibert went on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Jackson was 16 of 31 for a season-high 287 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His teammates dropped at least four passes that could have potentially turned the closely contested game into a rout.
Mark Andrews had five receptions for 109 yards for the Ravens, who have won 11 straight games against NFC opponents.
Jackson perfectly placed two passes on one drive that should have been touchdowns, but Watkins and Marquise Brown failed to catch the football. Brown also dropped two passes on a single possession late in the first half, forcing Baltimore to punt.
Detroit's Jared Goff was 22 of 30 for 217 yards and D'Andre Swift had 107 yards of offense and a score.