NFL Blessed Bengals: Shayne Graham to Return as Baltimore Ravens' Kicker

Ezri Silver@Maalot20Correspondent IDecember 31, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - CIRCA 2010:  In this handout image provided by the NFL , Shayne Graham of the Baltimore Ravens poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  ( Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

The Bengals may have lucked out on Sunday as they will most likely be facing Shayne Graham when the kicking team is attempting points for the Ravens.  While Graham holds the Bengals' record for points in a season and is the fourth most accurate kicker in NFL history, pressure has never quite been becoming of Graham.

Late December and early January games have generally been hit or miss for Graham (quite literally).  Bengals' fans vividly can recall Graham's ice foot against the Jets (as a Bengal) in 2009 when he missed twice to nullify any chance at momentum in the home wild card loss.  Earlier this season Graham missed the deciding field goal of the game in Dallas which would have won the game for the Dolphins (essentially leading to his release from the Dolphins).

Cincinnati knows that Graham was a reliable kicker for most of his career with the Bengals, though rarely was Graham in the position to win a game that had more meaning and ended up coming through for the team.

With Mike Nugent now kicking for the Bengals and Graham making his first trip back to Cincinnati since his unceremonious departure after the post-season collapse, it should be very intriguing to see how Graham performs with a vendetta on his mind but with much pressure to perform behind him.  If this season to date holds any clues as to where Shayne Graham is in his career, it is certainly not at the peak performance he once held as a Bengal.