NFL: Cincinnati Bengals see off Detroit Lions with field goal as time expires
Last Updated: October 21, 2013 9:25am
Mike Nugent (right): Landed the game-winning field goal as time expired in Detroit
Mike Nugent knocked over a 54-yard field goal as time expired to clinch the Cincinnati Bengals a thrilling 27-24 win over the Detroit Lions.
Nugent was once again the hero for the Bengals; he also hit a field goal in overtime the previous week to see off the Buffalo Bills by the same scoreline.
It seemed their opportunity had gone when a potentially game-winning drive in the closing minutes was pushed out of field goal range once quarterback Andy Dalton was sacked by Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
However, the Lions were unable to move the ball on their next possession and a poor punt by Sam Martin gave Cincinnati a second bite at the cherry.
This time they made no mistake, moving 15 yards up the field to set up Nugent for a long shot at the uprights. The kicker duly found the target, meaning the 5-2 Bengals tighten their grip on the AFC North.
Defeat was tough on Detroit and wide receiver Calvin Johnson in particular - he finished with 155 yards and two touchdowns, the second of which saw him win a jump ball on a 50-yard throw in front of three Cincinnati defenders.
That score tied the scores up at 24 apiece after the Lions had come roaring back from 21-10 down.
Johnson had already reached the end zone on a 27-yard pass from Matt Stafford, while the quarterback also managed to hit Brandon Pettigrew on a three-yarder to give the tight end his first TD catch of the season.
Dalton also threw three touchdowns for the Bengals, the first of them being an 82-yard strike to AJ Green that broke the deadlock in the opening quarter.
Although the Lions responded with Pettigrew's score and a field goal from David Akers, the visitors established a comfortable cushion with touchdowns either side of half time.
Marvin Jones hauled in a 12-yard pass to make it 14-10 at the break before Dalton then linked up with Tyler Eifert for a 32-yarder that provided the rookie tight end with the maiden TD catch of his career.
The combination of Stafford - who finished with 357 yards having completed 28 of his 51 pass attempts - and Johnson hauled Detroit back on terms, only for the Bengals to have the last word at the death.