Another rookie kicker looks to score in the Super Bowl

Justin_Tucker_(cropped)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

If rookie kicker Justin Tucker can put a point on the board for the Baltimore Ravens today via an extra point or field goal, he will become the first rookie kicker in 15 years to score a point in the Super Bowl. The last rookie kicker to score in the Super Bowl was Green Bay’s Ryan Longwell in 1998; he had a field goal and three extra points for six points in the Packers’ 31-24 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Tucker will probably not get much attention for NFL Rookie of the Year, but the first-year kicker made 30 of 33 field goal attempts (a success percentage of 90.9). He became the third rookie kicker in history to make 90 percent or better of his field goal attempts (minimum of 16 attempts to qualify).

(Note: Another rookie kicker this year, Minnesota’s Blair Walsh, made 35 of 38 field goal attempts (92.1 percentage). That’s the highest field goal percentage for a rookie kicker in the history of the league).

Here’s a look at the eight rookie kickers who have scored points in the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl year, Kicker, team (Points)
1971: Jim O’Brien, Baltimore (four points on one field goal and one extra point)
1980: Matt Bahr, Pittsburgh (seven points on one field goal and four extra points)
1986: Kevin Butler, Chicago (14 points on three field goals and five extra points)
1990: David Treadwell, Denver (four points on one field goal and one extra point)
1993: Lin Elliott, Dallas (10 points on one field goal and seven extra points)
1995: Doug Brien, San Francisco (seven points on seven extra points)
1997: Adam Vinatieri, New England (three points on three extra points)
1998: Ryan Longwell, Green Bay (six points on one field goal and three extra points)

* The Bears’ Kevin Butler, with his 14 points, holds the Super Bowl record for most points by a rookie. Washington’s rookie running back Jim Smith in 1988 scored a pair of touchdowns in the Redskins’ 42-10 Super Bowl win over Denver. His 12 points ranks second to Butler.

* Of the eight rookie kickers who scored points in the Super Bowl, five of the kickers saw their team win the title, three did not.

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