It probably isn't a stretch to say that coming into training camp, most observers felt like Shayne Graham was the clear favorite to win the Ravens' kicking job over Billy Cundiff.
Graham is the fourth-most accurate kicker in NFL history, he's a Pro Bowler, and he's made at least 80 percent of his kicks seven seasons in a row.
But two and a half weeks into camp, and with one preseason game in the books, Graham has yet to separate himself from Cundiff.
Part of that is because Cundiff has kicked pretty well. Part of it is because Graham has been fairly inconsistent.
Graham had a chance to take a leg up (no pun intended) on his competition in Thursday's preseason opener when he was given two opportunities at field goals and Cundiff was given none.
The former Bengals kicker converted on the first attempt from 32 yards, but then sent a 50-yarder wide right. The kick looked like it might hang on and stay within the uprights, but it veered right and ended up missing the mark by about a foot.
"It felt like it was going to start right and go back to the left a little bit, just the way it was moving," Graham said. "It didn't move as much as I thought it would. I hit the ball well, gave it a chance to get there and it just didn't go the way I planned it to.
"It was in the rain. You know you have the leg strength to make it. You know it's an awesome kick. Would it look good on paper? Yeah, it would be great to have it done. A simple fact is I didn't make it, and you got to keep trucking."
Graham has been inconsistent in training camp, having some solid days and some (like Tuesday, where he went just 1-of-4) where he struggles to find a rhythm. Cundiff, meanwhile, doesn't appear to have quite the leg strength that Graham does, but he's been a bit steadier in practice.
Cundiff didn't attempt a field goal on Thursday, but he did send two kickoffs deep into the end zone which resulted in touchbacks.
Graham had one touchback as well, something which helped him leave the Ravens' preseason opener with a positive mindset.
"I had one kickoff is all I got and it went in the end zone," he said. "So, it's about all we can ask for. I know Billy did a good job on his kickoffs. I think he had two touchbacks. When you leave the game with one field goal and a touchback, I'm not going to be upset with that."