Kicker scores all the points as Baltimore beats Detroit

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Kicker scores all the points as Baltimore beats Detroit

Baltimore’s Justin Tucker kicked a record 61-yard field goal with 38 seconds left to give the Ravens an 18-16 victory over Detroit on Monday, boosting their NFL playoffs hopes while seriously hurting those of the Lions.

Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam sealed the victory with an interception - the third of the night off Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford - as the defending champs improved to 8-6 and control of the AFC wild card.

Stafford threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Fauria with 2:21 left, putting Detroit ahead, 16-15. But the Lions were unable to make a 2-point conversion and couldn’t prevent Baltimore from setting up Tucker for his sixth field goal of the game and 33rd in a row this season.

Tucker’s kick went narrowly inside the right upright and just made the franchise-record distance.

“Didn’t get all of it, got enough of it,” Tucker said. “Just glad to get out of here with a victory at a time when the team needed one.”

Tucker, who hasn’t missed a field goal since he was 0 for 2 in Week 2 at Cleveland, has the NFL’s longest streak since Matt Stover made 36 in a row for the Ravens from 2005-06, according to STATS.

Detroit (7-7) has hurt its playoff chances by losing four of its past five, falling out of sole possession of first place in the NFC North to third place behind the division-leading Chicago Bears and Green Bay.

Stafford has 12 interceptions in his past five games, winning only one of them.

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, meanwhile, didn’t turn the ball over and made enough subtle moves in and around the pocket to get sacked only once.

The Lions started strongly, with Reggie Bush running for a 14-yard touchdown on the opening drive, then held Baltimore to a three-and-out.

Detroit’s offense deteriorated from there, and the Lions had to punt four times in the first half.

On the ensuing drive, Tucker kicked his first of three field goals in the first half - two of which were set up by penalties against Detroit - and that was enough for a 9-7 halftime lead. AP
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