Lucy vs. Charlie Brown
This continual “Peanuts” rematch is a perfect fit when discussing Sunday’s Patriots vs. Ravens game. You know the drill. Lucy holds the ball out for Charlie Brown to kick. She promises Charlie Brown that she won’t pull it away when he goes to kick it. But at that last second, Lucy yanks the ball away Charlie Brown ends up on his cartoon rear-end. The last time the Patriots and Ravens played, rookie Justin Tucker kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired that may or may not have slipped inside the right upright. We’re still waiting for the booth review. That kick gave the Ravens 31-30 on Sept. 23. In last January’s AFC title game, the Patriots punched their Super Bowl ticket with a 23-20 victory when Billy Cundiff when Charlie Brown and shanked a 32-yard field-goal try in the closing seconds. Tucker took the job away from Cundiff in training camp. This time, all signals point to Patriots’ kicker Stephen Gotskowski (or is Botchkowski) playing the role of Charlie Brown. By the numbers, Gostkowski is pretty solid. In the regular season, he hit all 153 extra point attempts, kicked 29 field goals including both tries over 50 yards. But he also missed six field goal attempts, including a 42-yard whiff that would have beaten the Cardinals in Week. 1 Also, even though Gostkowski booted 52 touchbacks during the season, his shorter kickoffs have come at the most inopportune times, like against the 49ers after the Pats had tied the game at 31-31.