As the Ravens enter the final quarter of the season, their sights are firmly set on, at the very least, securing the AFC North title and the home playoff game that goes with it. It would be the team’s first such game since 2006, and first of the John Harbaugh era.
While the advantages playing at M&T Bank Stadium in the postseason gives the Ravens are clear – they are one of the best home teams in the NFL, and could very realistically finish the regular season 8-0 at home for the first time in team history – there is another factor at play that many fans may not have realized.
Kicker Billy Cundiff has become ridiculously efficient kicking at home, while his struggles on the road are becoming quite worrisome for the team.
Cundiff has not missed a field goal at M&T since last November, in Week 9 against the Dolphins. He is 16/16 kicking at home here in 2011, and has made his last 25 attempts dating back to last season – quite an impressive streak.
On the road, it’s been a whole different story.
He is just 10/18 (55%) in field goal tries away from The Big Crab Cake this year, and his two misses Sunday against Cleveland only served to highlight his struggles.
Once the postseason starts, every point becomes all the more crucial. A made or missed field goal here or there could propel a team to the Super Bowl, or send them home in tears.
Just one more reason why the Ravens need to keep on winning, and secure the #1 seed in the AFC and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.