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Bengals Bye Week Report Card: Defense/Special Teams

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Oct 20, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Cincinnati Bengals kicker Mike Nugent (2) kicks the game winning field goal during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Bengals won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Kicker: C

Nugent has been like this entire team – inconsistent. Yes, he has made some huge game-winning kicks, however, they have been needed because of earlier misses. At 15 for 19, Nugent is in the bottom eight of the league (25th) in kicking percentage and is challenging himself for his worst season as a pro. If a big kick is needed in the playoffs (or to get to the playoffs), I don’t exactly trust Nugent to make it.

Punter: A

Someone I do trust in Huber, and like the defensive line, has been one of the few consistent aspects of this 2013 Bengals team. Huber is ranked 11th in Net (40.5) and 6th in punts inside the 20 and is in the midst of a Pro-Bowl type season.

Kick/Punt Returns: B

The Bengals are ranked 8th (24.7) in kick returns and 19th in punt returns (8.4) – pretty average. However, they get an above average score because they have done a good job holding onto the ball and not hurting the Bengals.

Kick/Punt Coverage: A-

The Bengals rank in the middle of the road (15th) when it comes to kick returns (23.2), but they have been doing very well (10th thanks to Huber) on the punt return coverage (7.2). The coverage is a little above average and Huber is much above average, leaving them in the “A” range.

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