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Bengals Bye Week Report Card: Special Teams

Special teams is a crucial part of any team. The Bengals got kicker Mike Nugent back from a knee injury he suffered last year and he's had a pretty good season so far. Punt and Kick returner Brandon Tate, acquired in the offseason off waivers from New England, is on pace to break franchise punt return records even though he's had some scary moments. The Bengals punt and kick coverage has also been solid.

Here's a basic statistical breakdown of the Bengals special teams through the first six games of the 2011 season.

Week 1 (at Cleveland):

  • Field Goal Attempts/Made/Long: 2/2 47 yards
  • Extra Point Attempts/Made: 3/3
  • Punts/Average: 8/38
  • Long Punt: 60
  • Inside 20: 2
  • Punt Returns/Average/Long: 1/15 yards -- 15 yards
  • Kick Returns/Average/Long: 4/23 yards -- 35 yards
  • Return TDs Allowed: Zero

Week 2 (at Denver):

  • Field Goal Attempts/Made/Long: 3/3 45 yards
  • Extra Point Attempts/Made: 2/2
  • Punts/Average: 5/41
  • Long Punt: 48 yards
  • Inside 20: 2
  • Punt Returns/Average/Long: 5/5 -- 16 yards
  • Kick Returns/Average/Long: 0/0
  • Return TDs Allowed: Zero

Week 3 (San Francisco):

  • Field Goal Attempts/Made/Long: 2/2 -- 23 yards
  • Extra Point Attempts/Made: 0/0
  • Punts/Average: 7/45.3
  • Long Punt: 59 yards
  • Inside 20: 3
  • Punt Returns/Average/Long: 3/10 -- 14 yards
  • Kick Returns/Average/Long: 2/25 -- 25 yards
  • Return TDs Allowed: Zero

Week 4 (Buffalo):

  • Field Goal Attempts/Made/Long: 3/3 -- 43 yards
  • Extra Point Attempts/Made: 2/2
  • Punts/Average: 5/38.4
  • Long Punt: 41 yards
  • Inside 20: 2
  • Punt Returns/Average/Long: 7/9 -- 14 yards
  • Kick Returns/Average/Long: 3/22 -- 28 yards
  • Return TDs Allowed: Zero

Week 5 (at Jacksonville):

  • Field Goal Attempts/Made/Long: 1/1 47 yards
  • Extra Point Attempts/Made: 3/4
  • Punts/Average: 7/47.7
  • Long Punt: 71 yards
  • Inside 20: 1
  • Punt Returns/Average/Long: 3/14 -- 22 yards
  • Kick Returns/Average/Long: 3/25 -- 37 yards
  • Return TDs Allowed: Zero

Week 6 (Indianapolis):

  • Field Goal Attempts/Made/Long: 2/3 -- 43 yards
  • Extra Point Attempts/Made: 3/3
  • Punts/Average: 5/44.2
  • Long Punt: 53 yards
  • Inside 20: 1
  • Punt Returns/Average/Long: 2/17 -- 33 yards
  • Kick Returns/Average/Long: 2/27 -- 31 yards
  • Return TDs Allowed: Zero

Grade: B+

Mike Nugent has been solid this season despite a missed field goal and extra point. When it has come to the clutch kicks, he's been good. Huber has shown that he has a nuclear-powered leg but he also can angle his punts where he needs them to go for the most part.

When it comes to Tate, he's made some bad decisions, like fair catching punts on the five-yard line or letting punts go past him that he should have caught, but he has an undeniable ability to make plays and I personally think it's only a matter of time before he returns a punt or a kick in a crucial moment.

What grade would you give the Bengals special teams through the first six games of the 2011 season?