justin-tucker-gw-lions.jpg

Justin Tucker etched his way into the NFL record books with a game-winning 66-yard field that went off the crossbar as time expired to give the Baltimore Ravens a thrilling 19-17 victory over the Detroit Lions. Should the winning field goal attempt have been farther back? 

There's enough evidence to support any complaints the Lions may have. On the play prior to Tucker's winning kick, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson threw an incomplete pass, but the play clock seemed to have expired before Jackson got the snap off. If the penalty was called, that would have moved the Ravens back 5 more yards -- and Tucker would have attempted a 71-yard field goal (assuming John Harbaugh set his kicker out to attempt that on the final play of the game). 

Chris Burke of The Athletic obtained the pool report from referee Scott Novak, and Novak admitted he had "no idea" whether the officials missed the call. Novak said he "didn't know" if the play clock on the television screen and in-stadium clock were synced up or not. 

Lions head coach Dan Campbell didn't comment much on the non-call, noncommittal on how that altered the outcome of the game. 

"Yeah, there's nothing I can say to that," Campbell told reporters after the game, via Detroit Sports Nation. "Cause it's the same thing, tomorrow you will get an apology and it doesn't mean anything, you know? That's life and that's the hand we were dealt."

If the Ravens had to attempt a Hail Mary pass or if Tucker had to attempt a 71-yard field goal, there's a good chance the Lions would have pulled off the biggest upset of the young season and advanced to 1-2 while Baltimore would have fallen to 1-2. The penalty wasn't called and Tucker made history.

Tucker is now 16-for-16 on field goals in the final minute of regulation. He has converted on 49 consecutive fourth-quarter attempts, the NFL's longest active streak.

The Lions have a legitimate gripe on the non-call, but credit goes to Tucker for making a kick never converted in NFL history before Sunday.