ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Despite missing a 34-yard field goal with 1:15 left in the third quarter that would have wrapped up Sunday's game, Bengals kicker Mike Nugent had plenty of support as he lined up the 43-yarder that won it on the second series of overtime at Ralph Wilson Stadium, 27-24.
Quarterback Andy Dalton told Nugent at the end of regulation he would win it now, while Nugent and special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons shared a laugh as he went out to kick what proved to be his sixth career winner in the last two minutes of regulation or overtime. The 43-yarder was Nugent's first in OT as a Bengal and came from the same distance he beat the Bills on the last play at Paul Brown Stadium in 2011.
"I told him to just keep his head down," Simmons said.
Nugent said he yanked his head up too quickly and said his 24-yarder the snap before that was negated by a hold on tight end Alex Smith had nothing to do with the miss.
"It was a terrible hit by me," said Nugent, who added he was ecstatic when the defense forced a three-and-out to set up wide receiver Brandon Tate's 29-yard punt return. Three runs later for eight yards, Nugent had redemption.
"I felt better about the last one," Nugent said. "I always want to be on the field. It shows me why you try not to kick yourself when you're down. The game's not over yet."
It was Cincinnati's first OT game since the Bengals swept the AFC North, a 23-20 win in Cleveland on Oct. 4, 2009 with eight seconds left on a Shayne Graham field goal. It was Nugent's third OT winner and first since a 38-yarder lifted the Jets over the visiting Steelers, 19-16, on Nov. 18, 2007.
T-NEW STUNNER: Head coach Marvin Lewis seemed stunned that one of his mot reliable cornerbacks that is playing so well, Terence Newman, gave up the tying 40-yard bomb to Marquise Goodwin with 1:08 left in regulation. Only way the Bengals get tied is if someone beats them deep.
"I wasn't playing smart football. I have to give credit where credit is due. The guy ran the route, he threw the football, but I wasn't being very smart," Newman said. "This is my 11th year. I was trying to do too much, do something that I shouldn't do. Obviously, I paid for it.
"I have been a part of some ugly wins and they are all as good. To win a football game all this talk about not winning on the road, we got that behind us. We just have to keep moving forward and try to string a couple together."
The Bengals don't give up long balls very often, Last year they gave up only two TD passes of at least 40 yards,
SLANTS AND SCREENS
» Dalton's 337 passing yards marked his first 300-yard game since a loss in Cleveland almost a year to day and were the most since he set his career high of 381 on Oct. 14 of last season.
» Brandon Tate's season-high 29-yard punt return came at just the right time. "I made one guy miss and the other 10 guys did a great job," he said.
» BenJarvus Green Ellis had a season-high 86 yards on 18 carries and observed of losing the lead: "That's us. We don't step on the throat. We haven't yet this year. We're still learning as a team."
» Right end Wallace Gilberry said the Bengals made an adusment in the seciond half in the run game and switched to reading the running back instead of the quarterback. They held the Bills to 44 yards rushing in the second half compared to 86 in the first.
» SAM backer James Harrison, who had 64 sacks in Pittsburgh, got his first as a Bengal on Sunday and they don't get any bigger in an overtime game. It came on fourth down from the Bengals 1 on the third snap of the second quarter. Bills quarterback Thad Lewis rolled to his right on play-action and Harrison tracked him down near the sideline for a one-yard loss.
» Wide receiver Marvin Jones was immense with three catches for a career-high 71 yards and a touchdown on a 10-yard catch he showed great hustle and awareness when Dalton left the pocket and Jones came back to the ball.