Reporting Bob Haynie
Prior to the start of the 2011 NFL season, I went down my list of concerns for the Baltimore Ravens. And one of them was whether or not K Billy Cundiff could duplicate his Pro Bowl campaign if 2010.
I was skeptical.
Unfortunately, my skepticism was justified. Cundiff had an inconsistent and injury-filled year that ended with him missing a 32-yard field goal which would have sent the AFC Championship game into overtime.
Instead, his miss sent the heartbroken Ravens home for the season.
Obviously, plenty of things happen over the course of a football game that impact the outcome. Dropped passes, penalties and missed tackles all factor into the final score.
But after 59 minutes, the Ravens had put themselves in a position to upset the New England Patriots–in Foxboro–and advance to the Super Bowl.
Lee Evans had the game-winning TD pass knocked from his hands and then Cundiff’s shank two plays later sealed their fate.
I’d have to say that Sunday’s loss was the most devastating in the history of the Baltimore franchise. The sting of this defeat will not go away until training camp starts. If then.
QB Joe Flacco played a fine game as he carried the offense. Hopefully, now, his overzealous haters will have the courtesy to give him credit for being a good football player.
The Ravens have made the playoffs four-straight seasons. And for the fourth-straight season they were eliminated by the team that will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
The Baltimore Ravens have to take the next step in 2012.
Will Billy Cundiff be part of that ride? Time will tell.
Yes I feel bad for him. He’s a nice guy and you don’t wish doom on anyone. Especially when they play for your team.
But he has to make that kick.