Ravens' decision at kicker looking good

October, 4, 2012
10/04/12
9:39
AM ET
It's only one-quarter of the way through the season, but the Ravens look like they made the right decision at kicker.

At the end of the preseason, Baltimore chose Justin Tucker over Billy Cundiff, a 2010 Pro Bowl kicker who missed the game-tying field goal in the AFC Championship Game. It was a risk because a potential playoff team was going with an undrafted rookie who had never kicked in the NFL.

Tucker has proven to be more accurate than Cundiff and just as good as him on kickoffs. Through four games, Tucker has converted 8 of 9 field-goal attempts (88.9 percent), including one game-winner, while Cundiff has made 6-of-10 (60 percent) for the Redskins. Both Tucker and Cundiff have recorded 16 touchbacks on 25 kickoffs.

Where Tucker has been much better is on the longer field goals. Showing off a strong leg, he has made 6-of-7 beyond 40 yards. Cundiff has missed on half of his six tries from that distance.

NFL history said Cundiff wouldn't be the same kicker after that critical miss. After Scott Norwood missed a 47-yarder that would've won the Super Bowl in January 1991, he struggled with a career-worst 62.1 success rate the next season and was out of football in 1992. After Gary Anderson missed a game-clinching, 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of the 1998 NFC Championship Game, he hit a career-low 63.3 percent of his field goals the next season.

Cundiff was on the verge of being cut after missing his first three field-goal attempts last Sunday. He saved his job when he hit the game-winner at the end of the game.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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