Bengals frustrate Flacco, hand Ravens first loss

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

CINCINNATI | Instead of watching a game, Mike Nugent got a chance to win one.

The kicker who spent most of last season watching from home had the best day of his career on Sunday. He made all five of his field goal tries, sending the Cincinnati Bengals to a 15-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens that extended their domination of the AFC North.

Instead of Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco, the star of this one was the kicker.

“Hey Hollywood!” holder Kevin Huber called out to him in the locker room.

Nugent’s perfect day made the difference in a game dominated by the defenses. He was cut by Tampa Bay early last season and learned what it’s like to be out of a job in the NFL.

“It was something to experience firsthand, sitting on Sundays watching people do a job you want to be in,” Nugent said. “You realize there’s a lot of people watching on Sundays who want your job.”

The former Ohio State kicker watched the Bengals (1-1) make the playoffs last season by running the table in their division, going 6-0 for the first time in franchise history. Cincinnati has won its past eight division games, a club record.

“It’s always been this way for the past 10 years I’ve played against them,” receiver Chad Ochocinco said. “It’s never been a blowout. It’s always close. I don’t know why the games are always like that. It’s extremely frustrating from a skill position set, but I think the linemen and the defense enjoy games like this. And the defense really saved us today.”

The Ravens (1-1) couldn’t pull one out despite another brilliant day by their defense, which hasn’t allowed a touchdown in its past 10 quarters including the playoffs. Baltimore was in position for a 10-9 win — the same score it beat the Jets by on Monday night — after Billy Cundiff kicked a 38-yarder with 5:46 to go.

Two big plays set up Nugent’s decisive kicks.

Bernard Scott returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards to set up Nugent’s go-ahead kick from 38 yards. Linebacker Brandon Johnson then intercepted Joe Flacco’s tipped pass and returned it to the Ravens 11-yard line, giving Nugent a chance for his decisive fifth kick with 2:48 left.

The game essentially ended on Flacco’s fourth interception.

“It’s a tough one for me,” said Flacco, who was 17 of 39 for 154 yards and a passer rating of 23.8. “Turning the ball over four times is tough. You don’t like feeling responsible for why we didn’t win the game. Everything about it’s tough. We didn’t do enough on offense.”

Neither offense did much, leaving it up to the kicker.

Nugent overcame a groin injury during training camp and won a competition with Dave Rayner for the chance to replace Shayne Graham. The first time he was really needed, he was perfect on every kind of kick. He connected from 36 and 30 yards for a 6-0 halftime lead, then from 46, 38 and 25 yards in the second half.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Nathan Walker waits to take the ice during the Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times)

    Nathan Walker’s NHL dreams send him around the world

  • Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon, third from left, smiles as he warms up with his teammates who were were wearing t-shirts in support of him for the All Star game before an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Anthony Rendon not an All-Star, but he’s been Nats’ MVP

  • Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter speaks during a media availability in the dugout before an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    LOVERRO: Suck-up Buck Showalter needs history lesson

  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Celebrities In The News
  • This image from video released by Funny Or Die shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on "Between Two Ferns," the digital short with a laser focus on reaching people aged 18 to 34. The president urged young people to sign up for the new health care plan through an appearance posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014, on the comic website Funny or Die, bypassing TV talk show titans like Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel for an online audience. (AP Photo/Funny Or Die)

    Obama’s ‘Ferns’ interview gets Emmy nod

  • ** FILE ** In this Nov. 12, 2013, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin leaves court in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    Alec Baldwin in talks to play Rob Ford-like mayor in new NBC drama

  • Dinesh D'Souza's "America: Imagine the World Without Her" got promising reviews from two major Hollywood publications. It opens nationwide Wednesday.

    D’Souza on Costco debacle: ‘It was really bizarre’