In part two of our Ravens101 2012 Season Awards for the Baltimore Ravens, we hand out our Rookie of the Year award and it was a very tight race, but in the end our Rookie of the Year award goes to Justin Tucker.
Part one of our Ravens101 2012 Season Awards, we gave the nod for our Special Teams Player of the Year to Jacoby Jones, who barely edged out Tucker for the award, but Tucker's performance this year garners him our Rookie of the Year award. Tucker, who was undrafted out of the University of Texas, was invited to camp to provide incumbent kicker Billy Cundiff some competition, but Tucker gave the Ravens more than that. Tucker, much to many people's surprise, won the job outright from Cundiff as Head Coach John Harbaugh went with the rookie over a veteran because of his powerful leg and good accuracy. Justin did not just have a good year for Baltimore, but a great year as he went 30-33 on field goal attempts, including a perfect 4-4 from beyond 50+ yards which was good for a franchise record for most 50+ yard field goals in a season. Tucker's presence was welcomed in Baltimore due to the fact that Cundiff was coming off of missing a game tying field goal in the AFC Championship game the year before, and Justin showed he could handle to playoff spotlight as well, going a perfect 4-4 on field goal attempts in the postseason, including two in the Super Bowl.
Please join Ravens101 in congratulating Justin Tucker on being named our Baltimore Ravens 2012 Rookie of the Year, and now let's take a look at a couple of honorable mentions that gave Tucker a run for him money.
- Bernard Pierce – Drafted out of Temple University, Pierce became a dynamic back up to Ray Rice and became a legitimate part of a one-two punch for Baltimore. As the season progressed, so did Pierce who took on a bigger role each and every week and represented himself very well. Pierce finished the season with 532 rushing yards on 108 carries, which was good for a robust 4.9 yards per carry and added a touchdown as well. Pierce really began to shine in the playoffs where he rushed for 202 yards on just 39 carries, which was good for 5.2 yards per carry. He had just 104 less yards than Rice, although Rice had 45 more carries.
- Courtney Upshaw – Drafted out of the University of Alabama, Upshaw really came on in the second half of the season becoming a big part of the Ravens defense. He finished the season fifth on team with 60 tackles, including 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.Upshaw was equally as effective in the postseason, although his playing time went down a little bit with the return of Ray Lewis, but Upshaw came up with the HUGE forced fumble on 49'ers running back Lamichael James in the Super Bowl and helped lead the Ravens to their 34-31 victory.
Who do you think should be the 2012 Ravens Rookie of the Year? Let your voice be heard by posting a comment!
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