Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
Blog Entry

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:18 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 9:20 pm
 
Cundiff isn't making excuses but admits there was confusion on the sidelines Sunday. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

Not long after kicker Billy Cundiff pull-hooked a 32-yard field-goal attempt that would've likely sent the Ravens and Patriots to overtime, we wondered why Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh didn't use the team's last timeout. He said it never occurred to him, even though Cundiff was clearly rushed as he set up for a pretty important kick. By the time the ball was finally snapped, there was just one second remaining on the play clock.

A day later, there were reports that Cundiff "wasn't paying attention" which, frankly, seemed ludicrous.

Stefan Fatsis, who wrote a book on his summer as a training-camp kicker for the Broncos, spoke Monday with Cundiff who explained exactly what happened on that final, fateful play.


Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left that would have sent the game into overtime, and instead sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl. 

Like most kickers, Cundiff has a routine on every drive that starts on first down and ends on fourth down, either with him on the field attempting a field goal or with the Ravens' punting. As he explained to Fatsis, because NFL sidelines are a crowded place, it's easiest to follow the action by watching it live on the stadium scoreboard. Except on the Ravens' final drive Sunday, the scoreboard read third down when, in reality, it was fourth down. Fatsis explains:

"Then, suddenly, chaos on the sidelines. Coaches were screaming — from the opposite end of the field to where Cundiff was thinking his third-down pre-kick kicker thoughts — for the field-goal unit. The play clock was ticking and Cundiff, as per normal, was back from the sideline and farther from the line of scrimmage than his teammates. As he was not expecting to go in yet, he had to run to get into position for a game-tying kick."

The confusion stemmed from an Anquan Boldin catch-and-fumble that was mistaken for a first down. (Boldin had fumbled the ball forward past the first-down marker. The rules state the ball must be returned to the spot of the fumble, which is what happened.)

According to the Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel, "[Terrell] Suggs said there was a discrepancy between the scoreboard at Gillette Stadium and what the officials were saying about what the down and distance was after Boldin’s fumble. The Ravens took shots at the end zone on 2nd-and-1 and 3rd-and-1 before bringing out Cundiff for a 32-yard field goal attempt."

The problem: what was actually second and third down on the field was shown on the scoreboard as first and second down, respectively. Hence Cundiff's confusion and the subsequent scrambling to get the kick off.

Which again raises the question: why didn't Harbaugh call timeout.

It doesn't matter now, of course. Cundiff, to his credit, isn't looking to shirk the blame. And his teammates, to a man, have his back.

"Every single guy who said something to me after the game, in the locker room, or on the plane" was supportive, Cundiff told Fatsis, including Harbaugh.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Comments

Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: January 27, 2012 5:57 pm
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

NO I am not goin to accept that score bord helped to make a errant kick possible, the RAVENS have on the side lines individuals whos jobs it is  to monitor such things as the clocks,  the first downs. etc etc, if in doubt with the game on the line call a time out and take the five yard penalty, five yards will not effect this kick. He rushed it and pushed it end of game, walk home cause if you can't do your job from short yardage  you need not be there.

PERSONS TO FEEL ENvY FOR IS THE VETERANS who have played long (5-6) years and wil have notihing to show for it, just piss poor management. 



Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:37 pm
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

How bout placing some blame on the coach, you know the guy that got all the credit for getting them there?  The Giants offense ran 80+ plays compared to just 54 for the 49ers.  If at any point during a close game you feel your defense is out there too much, shouldn't you be trying to burn a little clock to give your D a break?  54 plays and only 16 runs for Gore whom averaged well over 4 a carry???  To me if you want to blame someone, go after the guy everyone was so willing to put all the credit too.  He clearly got outcoached and the Giants were able to throw the ball as many times and more than the 49ers had total plays.  Sorry but if you think that team is more than just a QB away, your sadly mistaken.  They played in the worst conference in all of football which earned them a top 4 seed.  They beat a good Saints team in the 2nd round, but the Saints showed why they were beatable with possibly the sadest defense in the entire league(not sure how they've gotten so bad, at one time I thought they had one of the best secondary in the league).  In the end, the 49ers should be thankful they got to the Conference Championship, they were NOT a top 4 team in this league.



Since: Jan 3, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2012 1:58 pm
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

hurleyhemp86,

"Just curious....how did the giants offense cause the 49rs to go 1-19 on 3rd downs...dont be a hypocrite, giants defense showed up more then the 49rs defense, just judging from turnovers alone."

First of all, I believe it was 1 for 13, not 1 for 19. Giants defense did show up, but the two miscues occurred on special teams, the Giants D was not on the field. The biggest problem that SF had was Alex Smith - if they are going to hitch their wagon to that guy, they will never make it to the promised land. He just sucks, plain and simple. I would not be surprised to see them pick a QB in the first or second round as his successor. All they needed that day was a mediocre QB and they would have won the game, they had the momentum outside of the two costly turnovers by the backup kick returner.

And one other thing - that SF defense is murder, that is hands down the best D in the league. Giants and Ravens are good solid defenses, but the 49ers are just flat out the best.




Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 11:03 am
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

Please tell me how the Patriots got "lucky" you idiot. Lee Evans didn't lose it.. maybe he didn't secure the ball well, but it's not like he dropped it, it was knocked out of his hands on a heads-up play. And Cundiff certainly didn't lose it because that would only have tied the game you dope. Are you just assuming the Ravens would have won the game in overtime? How did Baltimore "deserve" to win? They were outplayed in most aspects of the game except maybe throwing the ball, so what did they do to deserve a win? If you can't say something intelligent please don't post on these boards unless you have evidence to back up your stupid claims.



Since: Apr 2, 2011
Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:34 pm
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

Anyone watching knew the play was rushed.  It never dawned on Harbaugh to call TO?  I guess you learn to win by losing.  The kicker should be informed that ANY TIME you aren't ready, you call TO in a situation like this. 



Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:25 pm
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

the fault rides on the coaches sboulders.
Much earlier they had a goal line defense and chose to go for it on forth and goal.
a more experienced coach would have taken the sure three. This coach lost that sure three. had he taken it we would be looking at a winning field goal not a tie. that alone would have sent it to overtime. the stress of aseason ending fiield goal isso high but a season winning with a tie, easier.
not cundiffs fault at all. aftrrone hundred twelve plays the teanm should have been ahewd npt running from bebind.b



Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:24 pm
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

the fault rides on the coaches sboulders.
Much earlier they had a goal line defense and chose to go for it on forth and goal.
a more experienced coach would have taken the sure three. This coach lost that sure three. had he taken it we would be looking at a winning field goal not a tie. that alone would have sent it to overtime. the stress of aseason ending fiield goal isso high but a season winning with a tie, easier.
not cundiffs fault at all. aftrrone hundred twelve plays the teanm should have been ahewd npt running from bebind.b



Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:22 pm
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

the fault rides on the coaches sboulders.<br />Much earlier they had a goal line defense and chose to go for it on forth and goal.<br />a more experienced coach would have taken the sure three. This coach lost that sure three. had he taken it we would be looking at a winning field goal not a tie. that alone would have sent it to overtime. the stress of aseason ending fiield goal isso high but a season winning with a tie, easier.<br />not cundiffs fault at all. aftrrone hundred twelve plays the teanm should have been ahewd npt running from bebind.




Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:19 pm
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

Maybe it's me, I was at the game and I knew what down down is was.  I was looking at the sticks not the board and I'm sure cundiff had a better view of the sticks then I did.  

Were you also in the stands kicking in to a net while watching the sticks? Why do you think stadium seating is elevated? Makes it easier to see, right. 



Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:19 pm
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

the fault rides on the coaches sboulders.
Much earlier they had a goal line defense and chose to go for it on forth and goal.
a more experienced coach would have taken the sure three. This coach lost that sure three. had he taken it we would be looking at a winning field goal not a tie. that alone would have sent it to overtime. the stress of aseason ending fiield goal isso high but a season winning with a tie, easier.
not cundiffs fault at all. aftrrone hundred twelve plays the teanm should have been ahewd npt running from bebind. 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com