It looks like fans aren't the only ones blaming Mike Nugent for the Bengals' loss Sunday. Cornerback Adam Jones wasn't too happy with Nugent either.
To be fair, "we work hard" wasn't a fair statement to make on a day the defense could not stop Cam Newton and the Panthers offense. Though Adam Jones' 97-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter did spark the Bengals to a game-tying score, the defense let up 431 yards to Carolina.
And let's not let the offense off the hook. With the game tied near the end of regulation, Jeremy Hill scored the go-ahead touchdown that would have put the Bengals up seven with two minutes to play, but a holding call on Andre Smith nullified it. Cincinnati eventually settled for a field goal, and the defense couldn't stop Carolina from getting down the field to kick the game-tying field goal.
That same scenario played out in overtime: The offense drove into the red zone, but lost yards on consecutive plays and forced Nugent to kick another go-ahead field goal.
Another opportunity for the offense to win the game missed. Carolina got the game-tying field goal on their next possession. That right there is two potential game-winning field goals that the defense nullified..
And lest we forget the potential game-winning score Jones surrendered to Jerricho Cotchery in overtime that Cotchery dropped in the endzone. He had beaten Jones and gotten position on him, but Cotchery dropped it.
Jones did talk to FOX Sports to try and do an about-face on his comments.
"What I said was there's no reason we should've lost the game. I expect 'Nuge' to make those kicks," Jones told FOX Sports by phone. "'Nuge' and me have a great relationship. They (in the media) won't be able to do anything to our relationship. But at the end of the day, we all as a team expect him to make those kicks — same way he expects me to make plays when it's third-and-2, third-and-4. We all expect each other to make plays. When you don't, you're in the wrong business."
The point is simple: The Bengals offense, defense and special teams had several opportunities to win the game, and yet, they only could do enough for the tie. Just be glad the Panthers had those same opportunities as well, and they too were unable to capitalize.