(Oct. 17, after Cundiff made five field goals and had seven touchbacks.) I still think Cundiff's story is remarkable. It blows my mind that someone could be out of the NFL for two years, then return and play at a higher level in their 30s than they played in their 20s. But I'm probably more prone to hyperbole about the guys I get to know on the team, even though I try to be as objective as possible when I analyze their performance. When I wrote that Cundiff might be the best kicker in the NFL, I had a decent amount of evidence to support that position. But the way the rest of the season played out suggests I went a little too far with my praise. Cundiff looked shaky even before a calf injury forced him to miss a game late in the season, and the booming leg that we all saw in 2010 (when he set the NFL record for touchbacks) hasn't exactly been booming this year. I'm not quite sure what to predict for him in the playoffs. I think it's a good thing that John Harbaugh and Jerry Rosburg are showing faith in him. In fact, I heard Matt Stover make that exact point in a radio interview the other day. A kicker needs to know a head coach is going to have his back, and that he won't try to blame him for the team's woes if he hits a rough patch. What will Cundiff do when he stares down a pressure kick in the playoffs? I honestly don't know the answer, and I don't know if the Ravens do either, and that's got to be a little unsettling for a team prone to kicking field goals in the red zone.
Christopher T. Assaf, Baltimore Sun
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