There’s been a mini-controversy brewing over why Ravens coach John Harbaugh didn’t call time out in the final seconds of regulation Sunday, just before kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal that would have tied the Patriots and sent the game to overtime.
As my CBSSports.com colleague Ryan Wilson wrote, Harbaugh said it never occurred to him to call timeout and that Cundiff said, "It's a kick I've kicked probably a thousand times out there … I didn't convert and that's the way things go. There's really no excuse for it."
Well, there might be an excuse after all, though it’s not coming from Cundiff and it places all the blame on him. According to TMZ, Cundiff, while practicing kicks on the sideline, was unaware of the Ravens field position and coaches were “furious” that Cundiff wasn’t ready to kick.
That could explain why you saw Cundiff sprint from mid-field to the 22-yard line with time running out on the playclock, and that could be why Cundiff so badly missed wide left on the game-tying field goal.
According to TMZ, “coaches repeatedly called for Cundiff -- at least 6 times -- to no avail -- he wasn't responding. … Our sources say players and coaches are saying Cundiff was distracted ... not paying attention and not ready to immediately execute a kick.”
Maybe Harbaugh was furious at his kicker (just like the other dozens of times coaches are furious at their players during a game), but in the aftermath, he also was reassuring. "I just told [Cundiff] it's going to be okay," he said. "Everybody has a bad day ... Billy's going to be fine."
The Patriots beat the Ravens 23-20 in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday after Baltimore's Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt with 11 seconds remaining that would have tied the score. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms recap all the action.
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