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
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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.

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Comments

Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:08 pm
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

Ravens had a chance. Kicker missed. Game over.



Since: Nov 8, 2009
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:00 pm
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

Harbaugh should have Iced his kicker.  I blame it all on that guy



Since: Jan 24, 2012
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:45 am
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

I agree.  It WOULD be a blessing for the Ravens to make the NFC Championship game.



Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:42 am
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

Frankly, I get tired of this nonsense. Don't get the wrong idea, I am not a Patriot "homer" who just defends everything they do, but I am tired of the stupidity from the media. Even the studio crew after the game was saying they were "lucky" to win and then Cowher said they "win with mirrors." When they win, its by luck or they win "despite themselves" and when they lose they were "exposed." First it was the nonsense with Tebow. The Patriots won, so let's make a big deal out of the fact that Tebow played hurt. Who cares? Tebow doesn't even qualify as a quarterback, he is a joke and couldn't beat the Patriots on his best day. Make him a running back and get it over with because he will NEVER be a real NFL QB. And now this clock nonsense.. christ. Call a timeout or just kick a lousy 32-yard FG, how hard was either of those to do. No, because it was the Pats we will overblow some type of stupid excuse to detract from the victory. The Patriots made plays when they had to... the offense was shaky but did just enough and the defense stepped up and made some great plays.. end of story. Patriots win.. Broncos lose... Ravens lose... so take your proposed asterisk and shove it you know where media.



Since: Apr 14, 2010
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:32 am
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

REALLY???? So if this happened to the Pats you're ok with it? Even if it was against a team that has been PROVEN to cheat? LOL such a homer.




Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:26 am
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

I want to watch the replay agian, but if I'm not mistaken, the holder looked like he slightly bobbled the snap and Cundiff flinched for a second as he was stepping into the kick.



Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:24 am
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

BroncoCountry wrote:
Scoreboard mistake, filming of other teams coaches, the tuck call.  One common theme...the Patriots are what they are...Bill BellyCHEAT!
What, are you friggin 12?

I can tell you this ... you're not a true fan of the game when you make statements like that.

Stop wasting everybody's time and let the real fans get back to healthy debating!



Since: Sep 14, 2009
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:16 am
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

I've been watching football for almost 50 years and I have NEVER, repeat, NEVER seen what transpired at the end of this game!  I am sure just about every fan who was watching this unfold was thinking the same thing- CALL A TIMEOUT!  You play 16 games regular season games and win your first playoff game, and you are on the doorstep of the Super Bowl- why NOT call that last timeout and settle down the kicking team?   

To me, and for whatever reason it wsn't called, this is totally inexcusable and a decision that almost 100% of knowledgable football fans would have made had they been in the coach's shoes!  The kicking game is mostly always the determining factor in close games and a team in the situation like the Ravens were in at the end if Sunday's game, with so much on the line, should certainly have called their last timeout.




Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:13 am
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

Scoreboard mistake, filming of other teams coaches, the tuck call.  One common theme...the Patriots are what they are...Bill BellyCHEAT!



Since: Dec 3, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:13 am
 

Scoreboard mistake caused Cundiff to rush kick?

They still had one timeout, NO EXCUSES!!!!


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