Bengals finally give up on Mike Nugent

Randy Bullock is new kicker
Bengals finally give up on Mike Nugent
Posted at 4:46 PM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 00:08:55-05

CINCINNATI – Mike Nugent won't be wide right for the Bengals anymore.

The team signed a new placekicker, Randy Bullock, on Tuesday and released Nugent, who missed his sixth extra point of the season Sunday and was 1-for 2 on field goals.

It was a sad finish for the 12-year veteran, but representative of this sad Bengals' season.

Nugent couldn't adjust to the longer 33-yard extra-point and his miss against the Redskins forced them to settle for a tie when they should have won in regulation. He missed two PAT's in a 16-12 loss to Buffalo or the Bengals could have tried for a game-winning field at the end instead of having to go for a TD.

He was wide right on five of his misses and finished 23-for-29 on both PAT's and FG's this season. Oddly enough, the 36-yard field goal he missed Sunday was his first miss of the year between 30 and 40 yards.

“Mike is a tremendous teammate and has been an integral part of the Bengals for seven seasons,” said coach Marvin Lewis. “This was a difficult decision, but one we felt was in the best interest of the football team moving forward."

Bullock comes from a successful but short, one-week gig with the Steelers. He was signed two Fridays ago as a temp for injured kicker Chris Boswell and went 3-for-3 on field goals and 1-for-1 on extra points two days later. Boswell came back healthy Sunday, though, and the Steelers released Bullock on Monday. 

Bullock, a fifth-year veteran, has played only one other game this year - the opener with the Giants while Josh Brown served a one-game suspension. Bullock missed one of three extra-points.

For his career, Bullock has made 78 of 96 field goal attempts (81.3 percent) and 91 of 95 PATs (95.8 percent). He has also kicked a 55 yarder, matching the Bengals’ record shared by Nugent. He is 5-of-11 from 50 plus. (45.5 percent).

Bullock played two-plus seasons for the Texans, who drafted him out of Texas A&M in the fifth round in 2012.

SEE Bullock's stats.

Nugent was deadly on short-range field goals but not too good from 50 plus.

As a Bengal, Nugent never missed a field goal from less than 30 yards (49-of-49), and he was 9-of-10 this year between 30 and 39. But he was 5-of-7 from 40 to 49 and 0-of 3 from 50 plus. For his Bengals years, he was 8 of 19 from 50 plus (42.1 percent).

Nugent leaves the Bengals as their third leading scorer behind Jim Breech and Shayne Graham. He came to the Bengals after three seasons with the Jets and a split season with the Cardinals and Bucs in 2009. The Jets drafted Nugent out of Ohio State in the second round in 2005.

SEE Nugent's stats.

Nugent had an excuse for Sunday's miss. The holder, punter Kevin Huber, had to reach for a high snap, then when Huber tried to quickly set the ball on the ground, it appeared to slip away on the frosty turf. The ball was lying flat on the ground when Nugent kicked it and it appeared to hit a Bengals lineman in the back.

He redeemed himself with a 44-yard field goal, but not enough to win back the confidence of his coaches.