OWINGS MILLS — Justin Tucker’s game-winning field goal from 49 yards out was one of three special teams plays Ravens head coach John Harbaugh pointed to Monday that helped lift Baltimore to a 20-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers the previous day.
“I think we had three game-changing plays on special teams,” he said.
The first he mentioned came in the closing minutes of the third quarter. Punter Sam Koch boomed a punt 62 yards to the San Francisco 1-yard line. Wide receiver Chris Moore made one of the more impressive special team plays of the season, diving and batting the football to keep it out of the end zone and prevent a touchback.
“Sam put it down there. The field was a little soft, so the ball checked a little bit. Nobody gets a better thrill from that than Sam Koch,” Harbaugh said. “Chris Moore was just hightailing it down the field – he was flying. He’s got such a great awareness. You see how many guys make mistakes – they slide, they get on the ground, they fall. He knew how to keep his feet on this side of the white line, tap that ball. It was a great play.”
Harbaugh then noted the final play of the first half. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey got a fingertip on a 51-yard field goal try by 49ers kicker Robbie Gould, causing it to fall short. The block sent the Ravens into the locker room with a 17-14 lead. Baltimore (10-2) went on to win by a field-goal margin.
“We had the partially blocked field goal by Marlon. Obviously, that’s a difference in the game in the end when you look at it that way,” Harbaugh said. “Just getting there – beating the blocker, taking the right angle, and just making a great play. He deserves all the credit for that.”
The last one was the most obvious.
“The game-winning field goal – the snap, hold, kick and the protection. Special teams, I thought, was a big part of the game,” Harbaugh said.
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