As we wrap up this week's Cincinnati Bengals factoids, we make a return to special teams.
The week began with a factoid on kicker Mike Nugent's field goals from beyond 40 yards. Friday, blocked punts are the topic of conversation, specifically the amount the Bengals have allowed since head coach Marvin Lewis and special-teams coordinator Darrin Simmons have been in Cincinnati.
So, without further ado, here's the Friday factoid: 4.
Since 2003, the year Lewis became the Bengals' head coach and Simmons the special-teams coach, the team has allowed four blocked punts.
That's not particularly good. According to ESPN Stats & Information, 18 other teams have allowed four or fewer blocked punts in that time. Houston is the only team in the league that hasn't given up a blocked punt in those 11 years. Buffalo and Cleveland have given up one each. On the other end of the spectrum are the Falcons who have had 11 punts blocked since 2003. The Panthers have had 10 blocked and the Chargers who have had eight. Seven of San Diego's opposing blocked punts have come since 2008.
While they've had four punts blocked in the last 11 seasons, the Bengals have also blocked three punts themselves. They had one in 2013 when Jayson DiManche knifed through Cleveland's punt coverage unit in the first half of a November game against the division rival. After DiManche's block, reserve Bengals safety Tony Dye scooped up the loose ball and sprinted in untouched for his first career touchdown.
The score contributed to a massive swing in momentum in that game. Through the first quarter, the Browns led 13-0. Then Cincinnati chipped away at a lead in the second quarter, with DiManche's block and Dye's touchdown. After taking the 21-13 lead, the Bengals continued rolling all the way to a 41-20 win.
As far as allowing punt blocks, the last time the Bengals gave one up, they lost a home game to Pittsburgh in Week 9 of the 2010 season. Current punter Kevin Huber was blocked in the first quarter of the game. Unlike DiManche's block, though, this one didn't do quite as much damage. The Steelers took over 15 yards behind the original line of scrimmage, starting a drive at Cincinnati's 30. The Bengals' defense remained firm, forcing Pittsburgh into attempting a 25-yard field goal that kicker Jeff Reed successfully hit.