Originally written August 21, 2012 on Football Nation:
Baltimore_ravens_v_c354
The NFL kicker is under a different kind of pressure than any other player in the NFL. For an intense moment, all attention, and sometimes the weight of a game, is on this one man. When it comes down to it, what any team wants most from a kicker is the ability to finish under pressure. Sure, teams would love to carry a kicker that can nail 60-yard field goals, but if he doesn't have the mettle to nail the shorter kicks when it's fourth down and three points could make or break the team, he's not the guy. On Sunday January 22, 2012, Billy Cundiff wasn't the guy. Despite Cundiff's ill-fated miss from 32 yards, which ended the 2012 AFC Championship game with the Ravens three points short of the New England Patriots, the organization has told Cundiff the job is his to lose. Even when they brought in rookie kicker Justin Tucker, it was simply a routine move to give a kicker some preseason competition. However, Tucker has complicated the situation—by being outstanding....
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