DETROIT — As the Bengals celebrated Sunday's second straight win by 27-24 on the last play of the game, left tackle Andrew Whitworth noted a lot more than the score was similar to what happened the week before in Buffalo.
The Bengals needed a Kevin Huber punt, a defensive stand, an offensive flurry, and a Mike Nugent field goal, this one from 54 yards at the gun, tying it for the longest winning field goal in franchise history. It was also the first time since Doug Pelfrey kicked the winner in overtime in Seattle on Nov. 6, 1994 and then came home to kick the winner at Riverfront Stadium on Nov. 13 against Houston on the last play of regulation that the Bengals have won back-to-back games on walkoff field goals.
"For the second straight week it took all three phases to win the game at the end and that says something about the entire team," Whitworth said.
Whitworth thinks it also says something about Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton after he hung a career-best 135.0 passer rating on the Lions with a 24-of-34 effort for 372 yards that was eight yards shy of his career high.
"They shot the gaps. They did everything to stop the run. They said that's not going to happen. They said Andy Dalton is going to have to beat us," Whitworth said. "And he made some great throws."
» Nugent, who hit a 43-yarder in Buffalo last week to win it in overtime, got iced by Lions coach Jim Schwartz with a timeout right before the winner. He said that stuff never bothers him, but he got a lift when teammate Brandon Tate talked to him during the break.
"He said, 'Hey, no pressure. It's just the next kick, It's just another kick' " Nugent said. "Coming from a returner, that was a great line. It made me feel good."
Nugent, who missed a 48-yarder wide left in the second quarter, said he had looked forward to kicking it off the Lions logo. He took his last couple of practice shots in pregame off of it, and had noticed that the turf seemed fresher on the logo when he kicked at Ford Field two preseasons ago.
» The Bengals were stung by what appeared to be another season-ending Achilles injury to cornerback Leon Hall, his second in three seasons. Cornerback Terence Newman admitted "it was devastating."
"When I came over to the sideline and he told me, I lost it," Newman said. "I was out of it for a while. Leon's one of the best corners in the league. When I got here last year I saw how hard he worked to get back on the field; it's devastating."