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Most viewed Bengals’ Vine a key to OT victory

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The Sports Xchange

CINCINNATI — It was one of the most viewed Vines from the Cincinnati Bengals’ 27-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks Sunday and it turned out to be a key play in overtime.

On second-and-15, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson scrambled before finding receiver Tyler Lockett wide open for what would have been a first down. Instead, safety George Iloka and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick converged and separated Lockett from the ball with a simultaneous hit.

That Seattle possession ended in a punt and the Bengals kicked a game-winning field goal late in the overtime period.

–Bengals kicker Mike Nugent’s field-goal percentage last season was 78.8, the lowest in his Bengals career, including a missed potential game-winner in a 37-37 tie with Carolina. This made Sunday’s performance even more gratifying for the Ohio State product. “I’m extremely lucky to have people around me that are very patient,” Nugent said. “I’ve had some disappointment with slow starts. I missed a couple early (this season), but the team took care of those misses. Hopefully I made up for that a little bit today.” On Sunday, Nugent kicked a 31-yard field goal to tie the game on the final play of regulation then a 42-yarder to win it in overtime. He’s now 5-for-7 on the season.

–Not surprisingly, Bengals players and coaches did their best to deflect big-picture questions about their first 5-0 start in 27 years. Lots of “One game at a time” and “It’s early”-type cliches were bantered about the locker room following Sunday’s come-from-behind 27-24 win over two-time defending NFC champion Seattle. “We have to move on to Buffalo,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “We have a big football game ahead of us on the road against a really good football team. We’re going to have to load up.”

–Quarterback Andy Dalton flipped the script in Sunday’s game and did so in fewer than 15 minutes. Dalton was 13 of 15 for 135 yards combined in the fourth quarter and overtime helping turn a 24-7 deficit with 12 minutes left in regulation into a 27-24 win in overtime.

Dalton threw an interception, was sacked four times and hit and hurried often. But he was masterful in engineering the second-largest fourth-quarter comeback in team history.

“Andy’s always had that poise,” said Lewis. “It’s rare for him to let one bad play lead to another. For him that hasn’t changed. The other guys have raised their level around him.”

–Running back Jeremy Hill, coming off a season in which he rushed for more than 1,100 yards and nine TDs, remains an enigma. A couple early fumbles and plenty of other weapons on offense including backfield mate Gio Bernard have relegated the LSU product to the supporting cast. Hill rushed for just 13 yards on eight carries Sunday for an average of 1.6 yards. The elusive Bernard is an effective pass-catcher, but at some point the Bengals are going to need Hill’s bruising style to gain tough yards in a close game.


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