Our punt coverage unit is facing a possible double whammy on Sunday in Baltimore.
Coming off of a breezy afternoon in Buffalo, winds are again in the forecast, expected to approach 20 mph.
"The weather will have an impact," said P Ryan Quigley, shown above on the Ralph Wilson Stadium sideline, "so it's all about not making that big mistake. I want to try to cut it through the wind while giving it some hang time."
Finding that balance between skying one high and booming one deep could be difficult, but last week was as big a challenge as any as far as the gusts go.
"I don't think I've ever had a game where the winds were quite like that," said Quigley, the man who spent four years at Boston College and part of a season in the Windy City itself.
But the weather's only half the battle.
While there's no telling where our punts might fly, we'll know that the football gods are on our side if the pigskin stays out of the hands of Tandon Doss. Baltimore's return man boasts the league's best punt return average (15.6 yards), thanks in part to an 82-yard touchdown against Ed Reed's then-Houston Texans in Week 3.
"He's a playmaker for them," CB Isaiah Trufant said. "We just have to be on our A-game and bust our behinds to get down there first and foremost so that we don't give him any space to make things happen."
Facing the league's best punt returner certainly presents a threat, but the game plan will remain the same regardless of who's back there.
"It's going to be a big challenge for us, but we're not afraid to cover against anyone," LB Nick Bellore said. "Last week we did a good job with Leodis McKelvin and bottled him up. We always have great flyer play with Ellis [Lankster] and Trufant. Tandon's the best in the league this year, so we have our work cut out for us, but it's nothing we haven't faced before."
"We definitely have to respect what they've done," Quigley said, "but I approach each week the same. Any bad punt, an NFL returner is capable of taking it to the house, so I just have to continue like it's business as usual. Our coverage unit did an unbelievable job last week, so if they can keep that up, and if I can punt a little better for them, we should be fine."