Cincinnati Bengals Kicker Mike Nugent’s Issues Continue
Sep 14, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals kicker Mike Nugent (2) against the Atlanta Falcons at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals ended Sunday’s game in a 37-37 tie with the Panthers for their second tie in 6 years. It is not because the Bengals didn’t have chances to win, and yes the defense didn’t show up but there is a much bigger issue, the kicker, to be more exact Mike Nugent.
Nugent had impressive numbers on Sunday, he went three for four on field goals and hit every extra point attempt, but this is a deeper issue than one game. He is missing important field goals, like the game winning attempt in OT against the Panthers. He is 11 for 17 on the season. That is an average of 64.7% successful attempts. That means he is making less than two field goals per three attempts. It made less of a difference in Atlanta when he missed 3 field goals but it really mattered Sunday after being set up with a 36 yard field goal attempt in the middle of the field by the offense as time expired.
The Bengals offense deserved much better. In fact they deserved not only a win but a big pat on the back after last weeks struggles. Mike Nugent missed a field goal last week that could have been an important answer after the quick touchdown by the Patriots, and he missed the biggest field goal this week. The Bengals may need to look to move on with this kind of average. The defense needs to be better but they can’t afford to continue to watch field goals miss wide or short. As anybody in sports will tell you the only way to win a game is to put more points up than the competition. The Bengals have missed out on 18 points due to Mike Nugent’s mistakes.
Steelers fans will tell you that the best thing the Steelers did in 2010 was move past Jeff Reed and sign Shaun Suisham, who has a 90% make percentage on the season this year. It might be time for the Bengals to cut ties with Nugent and find somebody more reliable when it counts. Maybe this sounds like a what have you done for me lately, but the games they need to win are now, not the past few years.