It’s funny to think back to the days of kicking competitions in Baltimore, but it really wasn’t that long ago. The Ravens tossed a decent chunk of change to Shayne Graham during training camp in hopes that he would win the job or at least put pressure on Billy Cundiff who joined the team halfway through the 2009 season when Steve Hauschka was released. But now, 11 weeks later, I couldn’t imagine having anyone else at the position and Billy’s chances of making the Pro Bowl are pretty great.
After 10 games, Cundiff if 17 for 20 in field goals (85%) with a long of 49 yards, which he has hit twice this season. He missed a 51-yarder against Cleveland, a 46-yarder in Pittsburgh and a 37-yarder against Miami. But lost in the shuffle of the Ravens seven wins has been Cundiff’s consistency in the kicking game. When the Panthers came within seven points of the Ravens lead this week, Billy Cundiff drained a 49-yard kick to give them a two score edge.
The Ravens unsung hero has also helped out dramatically on kickoffs this season when the Ravens special teams have been less than average. Cundiff is averaging 72 yards per kick off and has 29 touchbacks and just 21 returns. That’s a stat we never saw even in the days of Mr. Consistency, Matt Stover.
During his Monday Press Conference, John Harbugh told the media that he thinks Cundiff is definitely a Pro Bowl caliber player who’s kicks often get lost in the shuffle. Personally, I couldn’t agree more. It’s nice to not have to worry when the kicking team runs out on fourth downs, I’m glad we’re past those days.