After going through Training Camp and preseason with so much uncertainty at place kicker during a competition between Mike Nugent and David Rayner, the Cincinnati Bengals elected to go with Mike Nugent, mostly because of the strength in his leg. Even so, many weren't completely convinced that he was the best solution having a history of injury compounded with a groin injury early during Training Camp. Even so, his leg was powerful, converting two 50-yard plus field goals during the preseason. He was viewed far more of an asset than a liability.
Nugent has made eight straight field goals to start the regular season. Along with converting a 54-yarder against the Patriots, Nugent was the Bengals sole points-scorer against Baltimore, converting all five field goal attempts to give Cincinnati a 15-10 win over the Ravens, winning the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award. Nugent converted two more opportunities against the Panthers on a soggy field, including an impressive 50-yard field goal, giving Cincinnati a somewhat comfortable 13-7 lead in the fourth quarter. Along with his impressive leg, Nugent has knocked five of his 16 kickoffs this season into the endzone.
On Thursday, the NFL announced that Mike Nugent has been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month.