Justin Tucker's 61-yard field goal in 2013 is one of only 15 successful tries from 60 yards or more in NFL history, but the Baltimore Ravens kicker is confident he could add some more distance. A lot more distance.
On NFL Network's Good Morning Football, Tucker said he thinks he could kick an 84.5-YARD FIELD GOAL(!!!) "if the situation is prime." What kind of prime condition? Does he mean gale-force winds at his back in the middle of a hurricane? Nope. He says a sunny day in Denver would do the trick.
"Like last season, we opened up in Denver. The weather was warm, the field was nice and you're up in altitude so the ball just carries. In pregame I think I hit the crossbar from 85, so if the situation is just prime, maybe 84.5 yards."
The NFL Network hosts react incredulously, which is really the only sensible way to react, but it's clear Tucker isn't joking at all. He really believes that a field goal just over 20 yards longer than the NFL record is within his range.
In 2008, Lane Kiffin let Sebastian Janikowski try from 76 yards (mostly because Kiffin was in full YOLO mode), but the Oakland Raiders kicker left it well, well short, not even getting the ball to the end zone. But that kick was in Oakland and not Denver, where Tucker believes he could get the job done.
There's certainly some credence to Denver being a place to bomb field goals from long distance. Jason Elam tied the record of 63 yards in Mile High Stadium in 1998 and it was tied again 13 years later by Janikowski, who also nailed his in Denver. The current record belongs to former Broncos kicker Matt Prater, who successfully blasted a 64-yard attempt in 2013.
Unfortunately for Tucker and for those of us who would love to see a ridiculous field goal attempt, the Broncos aren't on the Ravens' schedule in 2016.
But here to save the day might be Broncos kicker Brandon McManus. Not only does does he want to see Tucker try, he's even willing to pay big bucks to see the attempt.
"I will give him an all-expense paid trip if he can do it,'' McManus told Mike Klis of 9News in Denver. "I'll pay for his flight, his hotel, if he wants to come out here and do it. I'll kick with him, I'll witness it and I'll vouch to the world that he can do it.''
Tucker was the recipient of the franchise tag and eventually secured a four-year, $16.8 million deal with the Ravens just before the deadline in July, while McManus is still on his rookie contract. So maybe Tucker can cut him a break and pay for his own trip to Denver for a kicking challenge.