Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Poll: Biggest playoff goat in AFC North
By Jamison Hensley
Three AFC North teams entered the playoffs, and all three can point to one or two players who hurt their chances of advancing in the postseason.
So, who is the biggest postseason goat in the division this season? Here are the candidates:
Chris Crocker, Bengals safety. Down 17-10 in the third quarter in Houston, the Bengals had a chance to tie the game when Crocker broke on T.J. Yates' pass and put himself in position to pick off the Texans rookie quarterback. But the ball bounced off Crocker's hands with only Yates standing between him and the end zone. "Hindsight is 20-20 now. I feel bad enough," Crocker said. "I picked that ball nine out of 10 times. This time, I didn’t pick it off when it mattered the most."
Billy Cundiff, Ravens kicker. With the Ravens trailing 23-20 with 11 seconds remaining in New England, Cundiff hooked a 32-yard field goal wide left. And I mean wide left. Cundiff went from being a Pro Bowl kicker in 2010 to living the position's worst nightmare a year later. "It's a kick I've kicked a thousand times in my career," Cundiff said. "I just went out there and didn't convert. That's the way things go. There's really no excuse for it."
Lee Evans, Ravens wide receiver. Two plays before that kick, Evans had a 14-yard, game-winning touchdown pass in his hands -- for a second. Undrafted rookie Sterling Moore slapped the ball away from Evans in the end zone when it looked like Evans seemed to relax. It didn't look like he had possession of the ball when his second foot landed. “Honestly, the most disappointing part of all this ... that I feel personally that I let everybody down," Evans said.
Ike Taylor, Steelers cornerback. In a 29-23 loss in Denver, Taylor allowed catches of 51 and 58 yards before giving up the 80-yard game-winner on the first play in overtime. On the final play, he got beat to the inside by Demaryius Thomas and then got stiff-armed by the Broncos' wide receiver at midfield. Taylor didn't speak to reporters after the game but he tweeted: "I apologize for playing the worst game at the wrong time."
Go ahead and register your vote or let me know what you think in the comments section below. I'll follow up by the end of the week.