MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Randy Bullock had no idea Sunday he had just kicked the longest field goal in Bengals' regular-season history, a 57-yarder with two seconds left in the first half of the franchise's 811th game.
Not only that, his 2-for-2 effort on field goals Sunday were his 75th and 76th attempts as a Bengal, qualifying him for second place on the club's list of all-time accuracy.
Bullock didn't hear about the record until after the 38-35 overtime loss to the Dolphins and even then they were probably talking about his on-side kick with 29 seconds left that made the extra session possible. It was the club's first successful on-side kick since November of 2010 in Indianapolis, a play on which kicker Mike Nugent tore his ACL.
(A small bit of irony. Nugent hit a 57-yarder in Indianapolis to end the half of the 2014 Wild Card Game. And Nugent and Chris Bahr held the previous regular-season record of 55.
The only injury this one caused Sunday came to those that left early.
"It's a slow-moving kick," said Bullock, whose bounce-free spinner that he put on the ground and not on the tee spun a yard short the week before. "The whole point is to give guys time to get to ten yards more than anything. That's the challenge with the new rules."
Since last season, the kicking team no longer has a running start. They're now one yard behind the ball. As special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons said after the game, it's a timing play now. Simmons showed his open mind when Bullock came to him this week with an on-sider he had tried with some other teams.
"That's the great thing about Darrin. We've got great communications and we're always talking about different things anyway, so it's not like, 'Hey, this is my idea,'" Bullock said. "I don't think I've ever tried this many on-side kicks. We're trying to disguise it to make it a challenge for the hands team. That's why we decided to do it."
The spinner was a good try last week.
"A lot of teams have tried it," Bullock said. The Patriots tried it, but it was short a few weeks ago. The Rams tired it against the Cowboys.
"We decided to go with something that was a little more familiar and it paid off."
Simmons said they practiced it enough this week that they recovered it a few times in practice. Bullock kicked it straight on and somehow controlled it enough on the grass that it bounced high enough on the third roll so that Bengals rookie wide receiver Stanley Morgan, Jr. could get a hand on it first and then linebacker Jordan Evans fell on it at his 46. Morgan timed his leap perfectly as the ball bounced.
"The third bounce. That's the idea," Bullock said.
Evans and Simmons talked before the kick.
"Honestly right before the kick, Darrin had talked to me and made a little adjustment on my angle. I'm pretty sure Stan was the one that made the play," Evans said. "Stanley Morgan came up limp from it. The ball popped up right to me and I secured it and gave the team an opportunity to go down there and score."
Morgan had to be helped off the field. The record field goal alo needed some help. First Dolphins head coach Brian Flores called timeout as he missed a 52-yarder left. When he tried the next one, he missed right. But pre-snap movement on right guard Billy Price moved them back five yards. No problems on the third one.
"I took a step forward and made a slight adjustment," Bullock said. "I think (getting three kicks) definitely helps. That was the breeziest end of the stadium. It kind of swirls around down there. I figured out I didn't really have to do anything different."
Bullock now quietly has just missed four field goals this season, making him 85.5 percent in his 48-game career with the Bengals. He trails only Shayne Graham's 86.6 percent in Bengals history.