Special Teams: D
The Bengals’ special teams has had its up and downs this season, especially Mike Nugent. In week four, Nugent converted all five of his attempts, which was the difference in a 22-7 win over the Dolphins. In week one, Nugent’s 47-yard field goal with 54 seconds left lifted Cincinnati to a 23-22 win over the Jets.
However, the last two weeks have dragged the 12-year veteran’s name through the mud. Nugent missed a 51-yard field goal and an extra point in the tie with Washington and has now missed three field goals in the last two games.
Punter Kevin Huber, meanwhile, is averaging 45.3 yards per punt (20th in the NFL), his lowest mark since 2013. Huber is only pinning opponents inside the 20-yard line on 29.7 percent of his boots, lowest since 2011.
Last week, undrafted rookie Alex Erickson finally got a big return for the Bengals. Erickson took his lone return opportunity 65 yards to set up Cincinnati’s opening drive touchdown.
The Bengals are averaging just 40 kick return yards per game, but that can be credited to the league’s new touchback rule.
On punt returns, Adam Jones has not been able to make game-changing run backs like he has in the past. Pac-Man is averaging 3.9 yards per return, with a long of 12.