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Cincinnati Bengals: Is Mike Nugent the weak link?

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Zach Hocker was recently released by the Cincinnati Bengals, which evaporates any hope some of the fans had that Nugent’s days could be numbered. If you look solely at Nugent’s career numbers they aren’t horrible at 81% for his career and 82.2% as a Bengal, the thing that bothers me about Nugent is his inconsistency.

Let’s start with 2011 his first full year after winning the job in 2010 from Rayner; he set team records in FGs made and pts scored, while making 27-29 through his first 14 games which is pretty impressive, he follows that up by going 6-9 in the final 2. In 2012 he made 11 of his first 12 through seven games, in the last five games he played before missing the rest of the season with an injury he was 8-11.

Starting to see a pattern that he starts better than he finishes?

Well that changes from 2013+, through the first 7 Nugent hits 10-13 and 8-9 through the final 9, 2014 in just five games manages to miss five field goals in just 16 attempts, but he finished 15-16. Same story in 2015 although not as bad with 10-13 through the first 7 and 13-15 the rest of the year.

Cincinnati is on the verge of being an elite powerhouse as they have an abundance of talent throughout their roster, the one thing they’re lacking is consistency. Another year like 2015 and even the experts will have to give them recognition as one of the top teams in the league. Of course, those elusive playoffs and primetime victories Marvin have been known to struggle with play a factor as well.

Many may not see the kicker as a position that can hold back a team, but when you’re trying to be known as a consistent team, everybody has to play their part. The Bengals need a kicker who is consistently hitting over 80% not 90% for one stretch and 70-75% the other part of the season. In 2015 Nugent only finished ranked better than six kickers who attempted 15+ field goals of those six only 3 had more attempts than he did.

The Bengals better hope that his inconsistency comes at a time when they’re up big but with their schedule this season, expect multiple close games and a lot of pressure being put on Nugent.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com