Cincinnati Bengals kicker Mike Nugent made his second clutch kick in the last two weeks. However, this time it was as time was expiring in regulation at Ford Field against the Detroit Lions. Last week Nugent made a 43-yard field goal to beat the Buffalo Bills and both games ended 27-24. Nugent is somewhat of a journeyman as this is his fourth team since being drafted in the second round by the New York Jets in the 2005 NFL Draft. It’s a nice story that’s kind of a full circle as Nugent is from about an hour north of Cincinnati in Centerville which is outside of Dayton.
Today, Nugent hit a 54-yard field goal to put the Bengals over the Lions, which ties his second longest field goal in his career, as he hit a 55-yard one last season. In his career, Nugent has only missed four extra points; however his kicking accuracy on field goals has always been his issue as he has only made 81 percent (156 of 193) of his kicks. Despite all that, it seems like as Nugent gets older, his accuracy has steadily gotten better without losing much of his above-average leg strength as most kickers do as they get older.
Without kicker Mike Nugent making two consecutive game-winning field goals against teams that have looked like they were on the rise, the Cincinnati Bengals could have only had won three times while losing four. For the sake of the Bengals’ fan base, in Week 8 they better blow out the Jets. They likely can’t rely on last-second heroics to win a third-straight game.