Justin Tucker set an NFL record in dramatic fashion Sunday afternoon.
The Baltimore Ravens kicker knocked home an NFL-best 66-yard field goal with three seconds left on the clock to beat the Detroit Lions, 19-17.
The previous record for the longest FG in NFL history, set by Matt Prater in 2013, was 64 yards.
"When it went off his foot, I thought it had a chance," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after the game, per The Athletic, adding, "He's the best kicker in NFL history."
Tucker's boot, from the left hashmark and the wrong side of the midfield logo at Ford Field, came at the end of a seven-play, 27-yard drive in just over a minute with the Ravens down 17-16. Baltimore had been up for nearly the entirety of Sunday's proceedings, but lost the lead with 1:04 to go on a 35-yard Ryan Santoso field goal; the Ravens had been up by as much as 13 points over the lowly Lions (0-3).
Faced with a fourth-and-19, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson connected on a 36-yard pass to receiver Sammy Watkins to reach Detroit's 48-yard line. From there, Jackson spiked the ball to stop clock, then threw left out of bounds, leaving three seconds on the clock. That was enough for Tucker to make football history and get the Ravens (2-1) over .500 for the first time this season.
"Whenever we're fortunate enough to have a game-winning field goal opportunity, especially a walk-off," Tucker explained after the game, "I get more nervous after the fact thinking about what if that didn't go the way we wanted it to go. So, I mean, yeah, I just kicked it.
"As soon as it left my foot, I knew it was going to have a chance but I was short from 65 in pregame both ways. For whatever reason, I just couldn't get the ball to just go and, thankfully, we found an extra yard-and-a-half that I didn't have three hours before and I'm grateful for that."
Tucker's gratitude should also be extended towards the fact that the referees might've missed a delay of game call on the play prior to his heroics. The TV play clock counted down to zero on second-and-10 before Jackson received the snap and eventually threw the ball away. Lead official Scott Novak addressed the situation post-game.
"I don't know if they're synced up or not," Novak said of the TV and game clocks, per a pool report. "But as far as our mechanics, the back judge is looking at the play clock and if it were to hit zero, he sees the zero, and he then looks to see if the ball is being snapped. If the ball is being snapped, we will let the play go. If it's not moving, it's delay of game. Those are the mechanics that we apply on that play."
Novak added that he had not yet reviewed the play in question while noting that he doesn't believe the back line judge could've been out of position during the play.
Nevertheless, Tucker's 66-yard field goal was his fourth of the day (39, 50, 32). All in all, he accounted for 13 of Baltimore's 19 points.
His previous career long was 61 yards, set in his second season in the league in 2013; that kick, funny enough, was also a game-winner in Detroit that came with the Ravens down one point. Since that moment, Tucker has been named first-team All-Pro four times and voted to four Pro Bowls.
Tucker is considered the best kicker of his era and perhaps the most talented placekicker of all time, and his greatest in-game achievement, of what is now almost assuredly a Hall of Fame career, may very well be Sunday's historic kick.
On an otherwise ordinary fall afternoon and in a game the Ravens should have won running away, Tucker saved the day with a moment football fans -- from Baltimore, Detroit and around the world -- won't soon forget.