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Notes: Peko's 500th tackle


Nose tackle Domata Peko joined the 500 club Sunday.

It wasn't a rambunctious flight home.

At the end of shoe-horning four days, three time changes, 8,000 miles, and five quarters into a 27-27 stalemate, the Bengals were a bit exhausted and reflective heading back to the States as Sunday bled into Monday.

But a career milestone didn't go unnoticed as teammates quietly congratulated Domata Peko on his 500th tackle. That's the way it goes when you've been a nose tackle for 11 seasons in the NFL. Under the radar is a way of life.

"It's cool, man," Peko said. "I wonder how many tackles were around to make 500 tackles? Think about that . . .  Bringing down these guys 500 times?"

Peko had four tackles on the day, giving him 501, according to  He primarily plays in base against the run and the Bengals shut down Washington's running game. They allowed 100 yards, but on 31 tries, giving Washington just 3.2 yards per carry.

Peko, who turns 32 in a few weeks, is working on the club's longest game streak. He hasn't missed a game since returning from arthroscopic knee surgery for the 2009 Wild Card Game.

SPECIAL TEAMS: It was the good, bad, and the ugly for the Bengals' special teams Sunday.

-Rookie returner Alex Erickson gave the Bengals a kick-start on their first drive of the game with their longest return of the season, a 65-yard kick return that answered Washington's effortless opening drive touchdown.

Erickson had quite an escort with tight end Tyler Kroft leading the way on multiple blocks and defensive lineman Margus Hunt and running back Rex Burkhead getting a piece of would be tacklers.

_Linebacker Marquis Flowers recovered Bengals punt returner Adam Jones' second fumble this season at the Bengals 18 with 5:44 left in the game, a huge play with the Bengals clinging to a 27-24 lead.

_Punter Kevin Huber had a pretty solid day against NFL punt return leader Jamison Crowder, holding him nine yards below his 20.7 average, forcing two fair catches, and giving him two returns for 23 yards. He did get away with a line drive punt with 3:27 left in the game. But it went nearly 60 yards and drove Crowder back to the Bengals 10. Crowder was able to run it out 23 yards before Burkhead thundered down there to make a big tackle.

Huber's net average on Sunday was six yards better than his season net coming into the game with 43.6. He also had a season long punt of 61 at Wembley, another big play, sending it into the end zone to prevent a return with 11 seconds left in regulation.

-But on one of those fair catches, cornerback Darqueze Dennard lost sight of Crowder's signal and touched him at the Washington 7 with seven minutes left in overtime for a 15-yard penalty that put the ball on the 22.

-On the play Flowers recovered the ball he was called for an illegal block below the waist, his second penalty of the game. On Huber's punt early in the second quarter, his unnecessary roughness flag was offset.

-Kicker Mike Nugent's troubles from the Cleveland game a week ago continued with the missed extra point and missed 51-yard field goal.

The Bengals are still dead last in NFL punt returns, but have skied to seventh in kick returns from 24th, thanks to Erickson and Co. They also stayed at 15th in punt coverage.

Cincinnati Bengals host Washington Redskins at Wembley Stadium as part of the NFL international series 10/30/2016

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