Kicker Mike Nugent could have won the game for the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. But he didn’t.
Pretty sure he already knew that and felt awful about it. But, just in case, teammate Adam Jones drove the point home while talking to reporters after the game.
“We were in a perfect position to win the game, two seconds left on the clock, we’ve got to win the game,” the defensive end said after the 37-37 tie with Carolina. “Everybody in here gets paid to do a job and that’s what everybody needs to do.”
When asked if the Bengals should be in the market for a new kicker, Jones said: “I didn’t say that, but I said everybody gets paid to do a job. So perform and do your job, that’s all I’m saying.”
Got that, Nugent? Your job is to put the ball through the uprights, see? Surprised you didn’t know that. Good thing ol’ Pacman was around to set things straight.
Obviously, Jones was frustrated and rightfully so. Nugent’s potential game-winner was from 36-yards out, more or less a sure thing for NFL kickers.
But as long as we’re singling out people for not doing their jobs, let’s talk about what happened earlier in overtime. Nugent actually hit a 42-yarder to give Cincinnati a 37-34 lead with 8:40 left in the extra period.
All Jones and the defense had to do was prevent the Panthers from scoring on the following drive and the Bengals would have been the winners. Instead, Carolina marched down the field, taking more than six minutes off the clock before making a field goal of their own to tie the game at 37.
So there was plenty of blame to go around, as there usually is. And Jones did point that out in a tweet later, saying “We give that game away today as a team.” But that was after throwing the kicker under the bus.