DETROIT (AP) — For the second straight week, Mike Nugent gave the Cincinnati Bengals a hard-fought win on the road.
Nugent’s 54-yard field goal as time expired lifted Cincinnati to a 27-24 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
The AFC North-leading Bengals (5-2) won a game for the second straight week by the same score thanks to Nugent’s right foot. He made an overtime kick to give Cincinnati a win after it blew a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead at Buffalo.
The Lions (4-3) rallied from an 11-point, third-quarter deficit and looked as if they did enough to send the game to OT, but rookie Sam Martin shanked a punt just 28 yards to midfield in the final minute.
Andy Dalton, who had three touchdown passes, threw two short passes to gain 15 yards and called the team’s last timeout to set up the game-winning field goal.
Dalton was 24 of 34 for 372 yards, the third-highest total of his career, and didn’t throw an interception to help him reach a career-high 135.9 QB rating.
Detroit’s Matthew Stafford connected with Calvin Johnson on two of his three TD passes.
Stafford was 28 of 51 for 357 yards and didn’t throw an interception. Johnson caught nine passes for 155 yards and his second score was one of his most impressive because he leaped to catch a 50-yard pass while surrounded by three Bengals in the end zone to make it 24-all early in the fourth.
The Bengals had a pretty good pitch-and-catch combination, too.
Cincinnati scored the first time it had the ball when Dalton connected with A.J. Green on an 82-yard TD, the second-longest pass of his career, after the receiver got past cornerback Chris Houston. Green finished with six catches and 155 yards receiving.
Detroit responded with a 16-play, 80-yard drive capped by Stafford’s 3-yard, game-tying pass to Brandon Pettigrew.
The Lions got inside the Bengals 20 on two straight drives in the second quarter, but had to settle for two kicks and had the second one blocked.
David Aker’s made a 36-yard field goal to give Detroit a 10-7 lead.
Nugent missed a 47-yard kick following an unsportsmanlike penalty on Jermaine Gresham for pushing an official’s hand off him.
Akers then had a field goal blocked and returned into Lions territory that helped the Bengals retake the lead.
Dalton lofted a 12-yard pass into the back of the end zone, where only Marvin Jones could catch it and he did, putting Cincinnati up 14-10 in the last minute of the first half.
The Bengals opened the second half with a score, too, when Dalton connected with twisting tight end Tyler Eifert on a 32-yard TD to go ahead by 11 points with 10:42 left in the third quarter.
Detroit scored a TD on the ensuing drive on Stafford’s 27-yard pass to Johnson to pull within four points.
The Bengals regained their seven-point cushion on Nugent’s 48-yard field goal late in the first quarter.
The Lions tied the game at 24 early in the fourth quarter on the heave to Johnson, but couldn’t score again, make enough stops or get a solid punt to stay undefeated at home.