Longhorns in the NFL: Tucker and Phillips

Isaac Gutierrez

The 2018 NFL season is now seven weeks young. Let’s take a look at how a couple of former Longhorns fared this week:

Justin Tucker

Justin Tucker is arguably the greatest kicker to ever play a snap of NFL football. He’s made an astounding 90 percent of his field goals and before Sunday, hadn’t missed an extra point throughout his college and NFL careers. The Baltimore Ravens have won countless games that can be directly attributed to his individual greatness coming through when needed the most.

This was not the case in the team’s recent loss to the New Orleans Saints.

The team ended up falling, 24-23, to the now 5–1 Saints. This loss came as consequence of Tucker missing the game-tying extra point after making 222 in a row over his seven-year career prior to the attempt.

A missed kick from Tucker is as rare of an occurrence that you’ll find in the NFL. But in this case, it was costly.

Adrian Phillips

The Los Angeles Chargers’ win against the Tennessee Titans was by far their most impressive win of the season. Taking place across the pond in London, this game was expected to be sloppy. It ended up being close, and the Chargers overcame the adversity of a Titans late-game push and emerged victorious.

Tennessee wound up scoring a touchdown with six seconds left to bring them within one point of tying the game. Instead of kicking the extra point to send the game to overtime, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel elected to forgo the game-tying extra point attempt in favor of a potential two-point conversion opportunity to win in epic fashion.

While this was a defensible decision given the Titans had no trouble moving the ball on the Chargers, it did not work out in the end for Vrabel. He can thank former Longhorn Adrian Phillips for that.

Phillips perfected the most important play of the game, deflecting Marcus Mariota’s pass that, if completed, would have resulted in a Titans victory.

In what has already been a successful season for Phillips, his brightest moment came on the Chargers’ biggest stage in front of thousands of international fans.