There’s something that hasn’t happened in the NFL since 1982. The league’s most valuable player hasn’t been awarded to this positional player for almost 35 years. And, it’s time to award the MVP trophy back to a kicker. If not for former Westlake and University of Texas graduate Justin Tucker, the Baltimore Ravens wouldn’t be in the hunt for the postseason and a division championship.
Oh, I see how it’s funny to think that a kicker of all people should be the league’s MVP. They aren’t on the field killing their bodies every week. However, what other playoff contending team is so reliant on one player?
Dallas would still be in their current position with Tony Romo as quarterback and Ezekiel Elliott. The Patriots were 3-1 without Tom Brady leading the offense. The Raiders have had success as a team, but without one dominating player on either side of the ball. And, no one else on any of the other division leading teams has stepped up to be a vital piece to their squad’s roster.
Through 12 weeks of football, kickers are missing extra points at an alarming rate. In Week 11 there were 12 missed attempts costing teams points and in some cases victories. However, the Ravens haven’t had to worry about Tucker missing that extra point on the scoreboard as he’s been perfect for the season.
Actually, Tucker’s never missed an extra point for his career an astonishing 154 for 154.
But, Tucker’s value goes past just kicking after the team scores a touchdown. He’s been perfect this year on any field goal and leads the league in: field goals made, kicks made inside of 40 yards, and kicks made from 50 or more.
His seven made kicks from outside of 50 yards is just one off from tying the NFL season record of eight set by Morten Andersen in 1995. Andersen was kicking inside of a dome for over half of his games that season.
Tucker went on the Dan Patrick show this week to discuss the possibilities of winning the league’s MVP award saying, “I lot of people have this stigma that kickers aren’t real football players,” Tucker said. “If you look at every team in football and look at the box score of each of their games and added it all up, the kicker is probably the leading scorer. In a game where points win, you want a guy scoring points. … As the game evolves, you will definitely see the kicker being a more integral part of the game.” (NFL.com)
If the voters go the traditional route, and award the league’s top individual prize to a quarterback or running back, Tucker should be named his team’s MVP. Earlier in the year when he kicked the winning field goal over the Jaguars, Terrell Suggs sung his praises.
“This is the NFL, and when games come down to the final possession, you want a man that’s clutch,” Suggs said. “You want a quarterback with ice in his veins, and you [darn] well want a kicker with ice in his veins.” (Baltimore Ravens)
It’s been 34 years since Mark Moseley won it as the kicker for the Washington Redskins. I think it’s time to give the trophy over to someone else from The Beltway as well as a Westlake Chaparral and Texas Longhorn.
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