Ravens fans all around the world were devastated with the result of Sunday’s showdown against the number one seeded, New England Patriots. All the “REAL” fans are still emotionally hurting after such a devastating loss. The Ravens accomplished so much this year. They had a record of 12-4, swept the AFC North, went completely undefeated at home and made it to the AFC Championship for a chance to win the Lamar Hunt Trophy, as well as a trip to Indianapolis to play in Super Bowl XLVI.
The Ravens’ successful season came to an end when their 7th year veteran kicker (3rd year with Ravens), completely missed the uprights on a 32 yard field goal attempt with 15 seconds left in regulation. After missing a kick that should’ve been so easy, all Ravens fans could do was stare at the screen and watch with a blank stare as if we all were stripped of our souls.
“Raven Nation” was furious with Cundiff. He also managed to become the number one trending topic in America on Twitter. Tweets were posted telling Cundiff to kill himself and how the Ravens should cut him. I’m sorry, but I’m sticking up for Billy Cundiff, or as I call him, “Billy the Boot”.
First off, for those who were actually watching the game should remember two plays before Cundiff’s missed field goal. Joe Flacco threw a remarkable, right between the numbers pass to Lee Evans in the end zone which would’ve given Baltimore a 26 to 23 lead, IF LEE EVANS WOULD HAVE SECURED THE BALL!!!
If you played football growing up, you would know that one of the first things you are taught as a ball carrier is to secure the ball. This is what the “no show” receiver failed to do. Evans completed steps one and two, which are to get separation from the defender and to catch the ball, but he forgot to secure the ball which is step three. Immediately after catching the ball, Patriots free safety Sterling Moore batted the ball out of Evans’ hands. If Evans would have maintained possession of that ball, not only would Baltimore have taken a three point lead, but Cundiff wouldn’t have had to kick the game-tying field goal.
The nerve of people to say “we should cut Billy Cundiff” is absurd to me. This is the same guy who scored 294 points (122 this season) during his 3 seasons with the Ravens; 7.7 points per game on average. This is also the same guy who kept kick returners from dominating our weak special teams unit by booting kickoffs for touchbacks. This is the same guy who came to the rescue when Baltimore struggled with Steven Hauschka.
The list goes on for what Cundiff has done for this team.
Now all of the sudden, everyone wants him released because he missed a crucial field goal. The Ravens themselves don’t even blame Cundiff for their loss. Lee Evans himself took the blame for the loss.
How soon we forget that after the departure of Matt Stover, the Ravens struggled trying to find a kicker. So while everyone is giving up on Cundiff and his 79.5% career field goal percentage as a Raven; the players, the coaches, as well as some of the fans will stick by his side. All he needs is a little competition to make him feel like his starting spot is in jeopardy in order to “KICK” him back to his Pro Bowl ways.
In the end, you can’t really put the blame all on these two players because there were other mistakes as well throughout the game. You play as a team and you win/lose as a team. It’s as simple as that. Although the Ravens had an outstanding performance against the Patriots, there was still room for improvement.
So cut Billy some slack. He’s a great kicker.
Who’s to say Cundiff’s replacement will do any better?
Brace yourself Cundiff haters, Billy is going to be in Baltimore for many years to come and from a fan’s standpoint, I’m not worried about a thing.