I didn’t hear about this yesterday, but Stefan Fatsis observed it:
Five minutes after Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff pulled that relatively short, potential game-tying field goal wide left, I texted him: “I’m so sorry, Billy. Hang in there.” When it comes to missed field goals, kicker solidarity trumps journalistic propriety every time.
Not to exonerate Cundiff, but the play itself looked threatened, if not doomed, from the outset.With the play clock at 10 seconds and ticking, I was stunned, like others, to see Cundiff racing onto the field. I haven’t talked to him or seen an explanation for the delay. It’s possible that Cundiff normally trots out a bit later than the rest of the field-goal unit. But this looked extreme. Cundiff was running pretty hard to get into position, and the ball was snapped as the play clock expired. You rarely see that on field goals. Then, unsurprisingly and definitely unconsciously, Cundiff rushed. When a kicker rushes, he rotates his hips too quickly, and when he rotates his hips too quickly his leg pushes the ball in the direction of the rotation. In this case, to the left. New England wins, 23-20….
When Ravens coach John Harbaugh was asked why he didn’t signal for a timeout, he answered, “That’s something we’ll have to look at.” (Don’t believe the argument that the Ravens didn’t want to ice their own kicker, because there’s no such thing as icing the kicker.)