The Bengals' first walk-off field goal in three years turned Dark Sky into blue skies when it sent them into the bye week at 5-3.
Before drilling Sunday's 44-yarder to lift them to a 37-34 victory with the help of Tampa Bay's delay-of-game penalty, Randy Bullock spent the week consulting the Dark Sky weather app and had an idea he'd be coping with 20-30 miles per-hour gusts. After working with head coach Marvin Lewis, special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons and punter Kevin Huber, Bullock has become a convert.
"We all have to be weathermen in a way. I think all specialists are like that," said Bullock Tuesday, the first day of work since the win in the wind. "We have to keep an eye on it. We were talking about that this morning. It was one of the windiest games we've had."
The holder Huber, in his 10th season kicking in Paul Brown Stadium, confirmed it was one of the strongest wind games he's played in the building. Or anywhere.
"Especially in the middle of the field," Huber said. "That penalty really helped us because you needed that five yards with that wind. That's a huge kick. For him to come back and make it after that miss (PAT) is really big for him. I'm sure that adds to his confidence. Anytime you make a kick on the last play to win, it makes all the other kicks seem easier."
Bullock also found himself being part engineer. He obviously didn't have Dark Sky with him on the field, but he could see papers and cups and everything else scuttling across the field, mainly from right to left, which is why he had quarterback Andy Dalton take a knee on the left hash. The Paul's swirling winds aren't exactly an easy read.
"The wind pushes off the stadium and kind of comes back to us. The flags on each end are usually going in different directions," Bullock said. "The slits in the end zone kind of let the wind come in and push and come back around."
It was Bullock's first walk-off as a Bengal and the first one since Mike Nugent ended the wild Oct. 11, 2015 come-back win over Seattle with 3:38 left in overtime on a 42-yarder off the PBS left upright. In his second game as a Bengal, Bullock missed the Christmas Eve 2016 walk-off, but he's had plenty of big ones for them even though this was his first winner with less than two minutes left.
Three weeks ago his 20-yarder with 3:30 left proved to be the winning points against the Dolphins when he broke up a 17-17 game. Last month his two field goals in the final 2:59 extended a five-point lead over Baltimore and in the opener he gave them a four-point lead in Indy on a 39-yarder with 3:57 left. Last year his 51-yarder with 4:42 left gave them a 19-17 lead on the way to a 26-17 win over the Lions.
SLANTS AND SCREENS: Bengaldom holds its collective breath with wide receiver A.J. Green's foot in a boot. Green injured his toe on the 11-yard catch that set up Bullock's field goal and while he said both on Sunday and Tuesday that he was OK, no doubt it will undergo more tests than a high school senior during the bye week.
Green is quietly on pace for his best season in five years with 90 catches for 1,374 yards and 12 TDs.
Running back Joe Mixon's career 123-yard game on Sunday shoved him back into the NFL's top 10 at No. 8 with 509 despite missing two games. He's bidding to become the Bengals' first 1,000-yard rusher since Jeremy Hill in 2014. He's averaging 85 yards a game. If he does that the rest of the way he'll hit 1,189, the most for the Bengals since Cedric Benson went 1,251 for the 2009 division champs.