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Bombs Away! Mike Nugent Hits Kicks From 50, 54 Yards

Veteran placekicker shows Giants he can still go deep

New York Giants’ placekickers Mike Nugent and Aldrick Rosas are alternating kicks as they compete for the Giants’ regular-season kicking job. That means neither kicker has any idea what type of kick he might be facing when it is his turn.

It is purely a game of chance. Saturday night against the New York Jets, the Roulette wheel spun in favor of Nugent, who is in his 13th season.

The 35-year-old made field goals of 50 and 54 yards, and put a kickoff out the back of the end zone. Rosas’ only field-goal attempt was a 24-yarder that he made.

“He (Nugent) kicked the heck out of the football today,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “He made a nice long one there for us on the 36-yard line – that’s big for us. Both kickers did a nice job today.”

Nugent is only 11-of-28 from beyond 50 yards in his 12-year career, just 2-of-9 over the past three seasons. He said the last time he made two 50-yard field goals in one game was probably his senior year at Ohio State, which would have been 2004.

“I hate that I can’t really remember, but I don’t think so,” Nugent said when asked if he had ever accomplished that feat in an NFL game.

Nugent, who signed with the Giants early in training camp, admitted that he is “not ecstatic about my numbers over 50” for his career. He know that history and his age made those kicks especially important in his mano-a-mano duel with Rosas, 22.

“I think so. Whether you are Adam Vinatieri or a rookie, that is what the preseason is for. You get a feel for everything. We talked a little bit this week about how the season can be a roller coaster and hopefully as a kicker you can be the same player every day and make that pretty steady and not so much the ups and downs,” Nugent said. “You don’t know what is going to happen when the time comes when the roster has to go down so it’s good to be able to put some good kicks on film.”

Nugent is now 5-for-5 in field-goal attempts this preseason. Rosas is 4-for-4, with a 52-yarder his longest kick.

“I can’t really speak for Aldrick but it (the competition) has been a lot of fun I think,” Nugent said. “There are things that he does that I think to myself, ‘he is doing that well, I got to do a better job of it’, so I think we are both learning a lot from each other. At the end of the day, we only won by a point tonight, but its good we had all the points put on the board for our opportunities.”

Will the Giants chose the veteran Nugent, who had a rocky season with the Cincinnati Bengals a year ago, but has been rock solid this preseason? Will they choose the young, untried Rosas, who has answered every challenge thus far?

There is no way to know for sure. The only thing we know, which we saw Saturday night, is that Nugent is making this a difficult choice for the Giants.