Before Sunday’s 24-10 win over the Cleveland Browns, Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff hadn’t missed a field goal at Cleveland Browns Stadium. He had made all five attempts there, including three as a member of the Browns.
But on Sunday, Cundiff was wide right on two of his three attempts. His misses were from 34 and 41 yards. He could have easily blamed them on wind gusts or sloppy footing on the grass field, but he took responsibility.
“For one game a year, playing in the AFC North, you’ve got to learn how to kick in Cleveland,” Cundiff said in the locker room after the win. “You have to kick differently here. My style of kicking isn’t conducive to kicking here, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have success. … I’m going to figure it out. My frustration level if pretty high.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh supported Cundiff after the game and reaffirmed his confidence in the kicker on Monday. Harbaugh also pointed out that Browns kicker Phil Dawson attempted five kicks between 30 and 40 yards at that end of the stadium during warm-ups after halftime and wasn’t able to convert any of them.
“The way the wind was blowing, the way the footing was, it was a tough place to kick the ball,” Harbaugh said on Monday.
Cundiff indicated that his issues had more to do with footing than the wind that was gusting at upwards of 30 miles per hour.
“If you want to get really technical,” he said, "when you approach the ball on a field that doesn’t have very good footing, you have a tendency to swing your leg a little faster and it gets out in front of your body, which causes the ball to push off to the right. I guess it’s almost the exact opposite of what I do when I’m kicking on turf.”
Cundiff has made all 16 of his attempts this season on the turf at M&T Bank Stadium, but is 10-for-18 on the road. Keep that in mind as the Ravens chase home-field advantage down the stretch.
“I’ve learned to kick fairly well at home,” Cundiff said. “The other places I’ve been, I feel like I’m getting the hang of it.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun