After missing a 32-yard field goal that could have sent the AFC Championship Game into overtime on Sunday, Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff said he accepts the blame for the loss to the Patriots.
“It’s a kick I’ve kicked a thousand times in my career, there’s really no excuse for it,” Cundiff said. “You know that Ray Lewis has poured his heart out, and you don’t know how many years he has left. To let him down is pretty tough.”
It’s still not clear what happened on that field goal attempt, as Cundiff appeared to be rushing into position and didn’t look ready, even though he could have simply called timeout if he needed more time. The Ravens had plenty of time, but the whole field goal unit looked like it was in a hurry.
The Ravens had another missed opportunity earlier in the fourth quarter, when they chose to go for it on fourth-and-6, rather than have Cundiff try a 50-yard field goal. Joe Flacco threw an incomplete pass to Dennis Pitta on that play, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh defended the decision after the game.
“We just felt like from a percentage standpoint,” Harbaugh said, “we probably had a better chance of getting the first down.”
Harbaugh might have been right on that call: Cundiff was just 1-for-6 from 50 yards and beyond during the regular season, and he’s made just 26.3 percent of his 50-plus field goals in his career.
And that raises a question: If Cundiff can’t be counted on to make long field goals in big situations, and he can’t even be counted on to make short field goals in big situations, can the Ravens keep him as their kicker in 2012?