Before the start of yesterday's game, Ravens kicker Matt Stover had a chat with Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher. As it turned out, Stover did the one thing Cowher asked him not to do.
"I told him prior to the game, `I think I'm the player that has played the most games against you than anybody in the league,'" Stover said. "He said, `Just don't kick a game-winner.' And I did."
Stover's 44-yard field goal in overtime gave the Ravens a 16-13 win, ended a four-game losing streak and punctuated what has turned into another stellar season for the veteran kicker.
After converting all three of his attempts in a crosswind yesterday, Stover has hit 19 of his past 20 attempts. It was the second time in the past three years Stover has hit a game-winning field goal in overtime at M&T Bank Stadium against the Steelers.
He said he felt comfortable from up to 52 yards yesterday, and the way the ball sailed through for the winner - sending the crowd into delirium - even that distance may not have been daunting.
"The ball flew real well on that 47-yarder [earlier in the game], and the wind was diagonal," Stover said. "The way I look at it was just get me close enough from the 34-yard line in that situation and let's go."
The only potential problem on Stover's final attempt came from the ball's position. A 2-yard Chester Taylor run off right tackle had placed the ball on the right hashmark. Cowher also attempted to rattle Stover, calling time after he was lined up to kick.
"It gave me a little bit more time to feel the wind," Stover said. "To line up the putt is what I call it. [Ravens offensive coordinator] Jim Fassel knows that I don't like the right hash, but he put me on the right hash. I like the left hash a little bit better, but I've hit a few from the right."
Next game--Ravens@Bengals, Sunday, 1 p.m.--TV: Ch. 13--Radio: 1300 AM, 102.7 FM