Having a clutch kicker is a luxurious that the majority NFL followers would die for. In at this time’s NFL, there’s actually just one kicker that everyone trusts to get the job performed when the sport is on the road: Baltimore’s Justin Tucker. Positive, there have been years the place guys like Adam Vinatieri, Harrison Butker, Stephen Gostkowski, Sebastian Janikowski, and David Akers might need been named in the identical firm as Tucker, however none of them examine to the ruthless effectivity that’s Tucker.
Though he’s by no means had an ideal season, Tucker has a profession 91.3 area aim proportion (the perfect of all-time, minimal 25 makes an attempt). When the sport is on the road, Tucker is the most-trusted individual to ice the sport. No person is at his stage.
Effectively, I’d wish to nominate Raiders’ kicker Daniel Carlson. Whereas his profession proportion is probably not as much as par with the likes of Tucker and even Butker, Carlson has steadily improved and has formally earned himself the “clutch” denomination.
Let’s begin with the obvious case for Carlson, his 38 consecutive area targets made. With the Raiders on bye in Week 6, Carlson can have gone virtually a whole calendar yr since his last missed field goal. Since then, he’s answered the decision each time he’s been requested.
The NFL record for most consecutive field goals made is 44 by Vinatieri, then with the Colts, over the 2015 and 2016 seasons. The longest streak of Tucker’s profession is simply 35, set between Dec. 13, 2015, and Dec. 4, 2016. Whereas Tucker is at present on a streak of 28 consecutive makes, he’s nonetheless a good distance from breaking his document and even catching as much as Carlson’s present streak.
To not point out, Carlson is computerized from means deep. Because the begin of the 2020 season, each Carlson and Tucker have tried precisely 15 area targets from 50-plus yards out. Carlson is 14-of-15. Tucker is 13-of-15, and only for perspective, Butker is 12-of-14 in that span.
By way of 5 video games, Carlson is on tempo to steer the NFL in each area aim makes an attempt and area targets made for the second consecutive season. Justin Tucker has solely had one such season: 2013. By way of his age-27 season, Tucker had three seasons with a area aim proportion higher than 90 p.c. Carlson is at present on tempo to match that. Nonetheless, via his age-27 season, Tucker had a profession 70 p.c area aim proportion from 50-plus yards. Carlson at present sits at 85 p.c.
Tucker is way superior with regards to further factors. The person is hitting these at an astonishingly excessive 98.8 p.c for his profession, and 98.3 p.c because the further level received moved back in 2015. Carlson has a 94.6 p.c fee on further factors. Nonetheless, that’s nonetheless an unimaginable success fee by NFL requirements. It’s higher than Butker (94 p.c), Nick Folks (92.3 p.c since 2015), and Vinatieri (92.1 p.c between 2015 and 2019). These are a number of the most dependable kickers within the league and Carlson has them surpassed in each area aim proportion and further level proportion.
Above all else although, Carlson has impressed confidence in Raiders’ followers, and that claims loads contemplating the Raiders like to lose video games in devastating vogue. On a crew the place something can occur, a Raiders’ area aim appears about as sure as dying or taxes these days. Because the Raiders tried to march down the sphere throughout their two-minute drill in final evening’s sport, the few Raiders followers I used to be with felt nice about their possibilities. It wasn’t as a result of they trusted Derek Carr to maneuver them downfield, however as a result of they knew that if Carlson was given the chance, he would make it. That kind of confidence with the sport on the road isn’t one thing that may be overstated.
Is Carlson pretty much as good as Tucker? I’m not able to make that distinction. Tucker has been kicking at an elite stage for a lot longer than Carlson has, however Carlson needs to be a part of that elite tier alongside Tucker. He’s undoubtedly the second-best kicker within the NFL proper now, and he’s clutch as hell.