In the NFL, “trick plays” involve throwing instead of kicking and “fantasy” is connected to stats. In Sunday’s 19-14 win over the Bengals, the Baltimore Ravens did things that brought to mind those words, but went well beyond their current definitions. Looking back, it was kind of like they were in a video game for a few plays.
This being a post about the Ravens doing crazy stuff, kicker Justin Tucker is naturally involved in some way. The field goal kicker has simultaneously been freakishly good at splitting the uprights, and challenged definitions of what a conventional football player with his arias. Plus he’s got jokes:
On the field, Tucker hasn’t missed a field goal this season, and extended his streak to 34-for-34 on Sunday. Making four kicks in all, he became the first player in NFL history to make three kicks from beyond 50 yards in the first half. At one point, he even hit a kickoff from the opposite half of the field through the uprights.
This led Ravens coach John Harbaugh to call for a new rule that awards teams a point if a kickoff is good.
“I’m serious now, kinda. Really, how exciting would that make it, for him to make these kickoff touchbacks so valuable? Let’s do it. Let’s go for it.”
Indeed, points are fun. But most importantly, what do we call it? The NFL already has the dreaded Tuck Rule. The pronunciation of Tucker Rule would be a little too close.
The Ravens also ran a new kind of play to end the game. With the game winding down and the Ravens set to punt, players committed all sorts of holding penalties to run out the clock. In all, they tallied up about eight penalties.
— VICE Sports (@VICESports) November 28, 2016
NFL rules state the game can’t end on a defensive penalty. However, the Ravens technically still had the ball. Although it wasn’t in the “spirit of the rules,” it wasn’t against the rules. In terms of sports rule-breaking provenance, we saw notes of Hack-A-Shaq, with lots of professional wrestling on view as players were slammed to the ground. The reviews today call it “clever.”
If the rules change, just remember they did it because of the Ravens.
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