Hunt plays pivotal role in Bengals win at Houston
Defensive linesman Margus Hunt, Estonia's sole current representative in the National Football League, was instrumental in securing a rare win for his team, the Cincinnati Bengals, on the penultimate week of the 2020 regular season ERR's sports portal reports.
The Bengals, currently bottom of the AFC North, overcame the Houston Texans of the AFC South, 37-31 in a close game at the NRG Stadium in Houston. The win is the second in a row for the Bengals, the first time they have managed to string together two successive victories since the 2018 season.
The scores were even-stevens at the half, 10 points each (a touchdown and a field goal for both teams), and continued through most of the third quarter, until Cincinnati took a field goal to make things 27-24. A touchdown each in the final quarter made it 34-31 in the Bengals' favor in the last few minutes of the game.
Hunt, 33, from Karksi-Nuia, Viljandi County, had already pulled off a big tackle in the second quarter which confined a Houston passing play to a 7-yard gain, followed by another in the fourth quarter when the score was already 34-31 in the visitors' favor.
However, Houston's late-game drive continued; a touchdown would have handed the hosts, also not in play-off contention, the win, but a Bengals sack on Texans' QB Deshaun Watson on their own 33-yard line led to the latter fumbling, with Hunt recovering the fumble on the 38-yard line. Watson was injured in the sack, but the recovery put Cincinnati in a good spot to seal their victory, which they duly did with a 36-yard field goal with 21 seconds left on the clock.
The win doesn't affect the Bengals' non-existent chances of making the playoffs at 4-10-1, however, but sets them up for a possible consolation win at home at the Paul Brown Stadium next Sunday, when they host fellow conference members then Baltimore Ravens. The latter are still in the hunt for a wildcard spot however, along with conference rivals Cleveland, and the Indianapolis Colts of the AFC South – Hunt's former team.
Hunt rejoined the Bengals early on this season after being cut by the New Orleans Saints. He had originally been drafted by Cincinnati in 2013, after becoming a defensive linesman at Southern Methodist University, a move he made only after the college cut its athletics program – Hunt had originally been a field athlete, specializing in the discus and shot put.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte