Through five games the Bills have just four kick returns as they’ve faced some big-legged kickers who have not given their return unit an opportunity to improve Buffalo’s field position beyond the 20-yard line. This week however, could prove to be different.
Buffalo’s four kick returns rank 31st in the league in terms of opportunity. Only Atlanta has had fewer chances to return kicks with just three through five games.
Naturally Buffalo’s touchback percentage is the second-highest in the league through five games at 86.7 percent (26 touchbacks on 30 kickoffs). Again Atlanta is the only team with a higher rate and they’re a dome team.
This week the Bills face a Cincinnati kickoff man in Mike Nugent, who ranks 30th in the league in kickoff touchback percentage. Less than half the time has Nugent successfully forced Bengals opponents to take a touchback on a kickoff (10-22, 45.5%).
For Marquise Goodwin, who returns to the lineup this week from a broken hand, those are kickoff percentages he’s ready to work with.
“We’ve had four kick returns and I have zero, so I’m really looking forward to it,” Goodwin told Buffalobills.com. “It’s been a journey for our team and coach (Danny Crossman) always expresses to us in the meetings that it’s all about opportunity and we don’t get many. So hopefully we’ll get a few more opportunities this week to try to maximize field position for the offense to get us rolling. So if he kicks them in bounds we’ll try to get as many as we can and return and get good field position.”
Tags: Bills-Bengals, Marquise Goodwin, Mike Nugent
Posted in Inside the Bills
The Bills will be facing an opponent in search of a replacement kicker for the second straight week this Sunday.
Cincinnati kicker Mike Nugent sustained an injury to his kicking leg Sunday as he attempted an onsides kick. Reports out of Cincinnati are that Nugent could miss the rest of the season.
“It doesn’t look good,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis after the game.. “I’ll reserve judgment until we know for sure.”
UPDATE: ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Nugent is indeed out for the season. It’s reportedly a torn ACL and sprained MCL.
Initially it was thought that Nugent was injured in the pileup to recover the onsides kick, but Nugent turned awkwardly to fake kicking left before kicking the onsides attempt to the right. He said that’s when the injury occurred.
Nugent beat out Dave Rayner for the Bengals kicking job this past summer. Rayner was the fill in kicker for the Lions yesterday and missed a 49-yard attempt in a two-point Bills victory, their first of the season.
No word yet on who the Bengals may sign as a replacement for Sunday’s game against the Bills.
Tags: Mike Nugent
Posted in Inside the Bills