The Bengals signed Bullock two weeks ago after deciding that Mike Nugent was no longer cutting it with the team. Bullock’s first game for the Bengals came against the Steelers, who he spent the prior two weeks with before being signed by the Bengals. And, his second game for Cincinnati came against the team who drafted him and brought him into the NFL just four years ago.
After being perfect on field goals and extra points through 119 minutes of play for the Bengals, Bullock was given a chance to win the game for his new team with the score at 12-10 in Houston’s favor and a 43-yard field goal attempt on deck. Bullock made two field goals and two extra points in Week 15 and had made his one field goal attempt and one extra point attempt earlier on Saturday night in Houston. But, with the game on the line and the clock expiring, Bullock’s kick went wide right and the Bengals lost.
“There was no extra emotion. My preparation didn’t change. My warm-up, my routine, nothing changed. It was another game,” Bullock said following the Bengals’ loss.
Coming into Cincinnati Bullock had said he just wanted an opportunity, and if he did well, there would of course be a good chance the Bengals will bring him back for at least next year’s OTAs and training camp.
“That was exactly what I wanted,” Bullock said of getting a chance to show what he’s capable of. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity, I did have the opportunity, I just didn’t take advantage of it. That hurts for me and this team. Obviously, we wanted to win here, so it was incredibly disappointing.”
The Bengals players, especially on defense, certainly weren’t happy about the missed kick and missed opportunity to win the game. Of course, Bullock felt the same.
“It’s just frustrating. It’s disappointing. We were in a position where we want to win football games,” Bullock said. “The season’s not over yet. I wanted to make that kick regardless of the game scenario or anything like that. I’ll have to shake it off and go forward and finish up the season strong with Baltimore.”
In explaining the process of the kick and how he felt it was going, Bullock did admit the timing “felt off a little bit”.
“I feel like I hit it pretty well. Timing felt off a little bit,” he said. “I jumped a little bit, we were trying to hold it. Unfortunately, it affected the kick and that’s on me.”
Like former Bengals kicker Mike Nugent always did, Bullock is taking the blame. But, had the Bengals offense been able to move the ball more effectively throughout the game, the Bengals likely would have won. The Bengals were 7-of-16 on third down and had only 15 first downs on Saturday night. Had the offense been more reliable while the defense allowed only 12 points, the Bengals should have won the game. While it's easy to place blame on the kicker for a miss, you can't discount the other 59 minutes of the game, in which the offense was largely ineffective and punted the ball eight times.
Is Randy Bullock the Bengals’ answer at the kicker position? It seems like he’s not.