As we Ravens fans sit here and try to come to grips with yet another lost season, searching for answers as to what went wrong, and more importantly, how those wrongs will be fixed, we look for any silver linings that we can find. Yesterday, our own Ken “Filmstudy” McKusick gave us this nice bit of hope for the future:
— Ken McKusick (@FilmstudyRavens) January 4, 2017
To clarify, Ken was talking about Ronnie Stanley. Here is a visual representation of Stanley’s season (again via Ken):
Those last four games (NE, Phi, Pit, Cin) are what Ken’s referring to as the best four-game stretch by any Ravens tackle since Jonathan Ogden.
Talk about high praise. Still questioning the front office for taking Ronnie last spring?
Another overwhelming positive from 2016 was the play of team MVP Justin Tucker. While it’s far from ideal to have a kicker as your team MVP (personally, I’d have gone with Marshal Yanda, but that’s neither here nor there), if it’s going to happen, he might as well have the best season EVER.
That’s exactly what Tucker did, according to the statistical experts at NumberFire.
Not just the best season ever for a kicker (which he had by leaps and bounds), but the best season by any player at ANY POSITION ever.
Tucker added over 50 points to the Ravens offense above expectation. If they had a league-average kicker, that kicker would have finished with a mere 10.92 NEP. By having Tucker on the team, the Ravens added +2.47 points per game! Joe Flacco actually lost the Ravens 4.02 points per game versus a league-average quarterback this year.
Compared to Blair Walsh‘s aforementioned best kicking year of all time, Tucker’s season looks even more ridiculous. Tucker posted numbers 50% better than the top performance since 2000 — and likely in history given the improvements of kickers.
Here is every kicker season since 2000:
This time last year, we were afraid that Tucker would be getting away. The team placed the Franchise Tag on him in late February, then signed him to a four-year $16.8M deal in July. It’s safe to say that’s looking like quite the strong investment after year one of the deal.
It sure would be nice to have a weapon like Tucker heading into the playoffs, huh?
Maybe next year. Until then, TUCK YEAH!