The Baltimore Ravens kicker is already the most accurate kicker in NFL history, and now he wants to shatter the distance record. He can do it. Just let him tell you.
As we’ve already told you, football can be hard to understand. Playbooks weigh as much as physics textbooks, and when you hear a quarterback barking in the huddle, it can sound like you’ve intercepted an alien transmission. For there to be order in the chaos, the game requires people who have mastered its specifics. Welcome to Masterminds Week, where we’ll spotlight those who have shown expertise in various aspects of the sport—from the big and all-encompassing to the random and hyperspecific.
The game situation would have to be exactly right: about a second left in the fourth quarter with the score within three or at the end of a half, when it’s the only option. The temperature would have to be warm—probably above 80 degrees. And even if the weather and the timing converged, coaches would favor a Hail Mary because at least those have succeeded. If you missed the kick, you’d also likely have to defend against a long return; Ravens long-snapper Morgan Cox brought up the specter of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown out there with a bunch of blockers ready to return the kick. To make it even close to worth the risk, Cox said, you’d have to know that your kicker would put the ball into the stands no matter what.
“However,” Koch said after he and Cox listed the myriad reasons this sort of kick would never happen. “I have no doubt Justin would go out there and make the kick.”