Final

Bengals 31

(5-1, 3-1 away)

Titans 23

(2-4, 1-2 home)

1:00 PM ET, October 16, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
CIN 0 7 10 1431
TEN 0 10 7 623

Top Performers

Passing: C. Palmer (CIN) - 272 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: C. Brown (TEN) - 18 CAR, 84 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: C. Johnson (CIN) - 8 REC, 135 YDS, 1 TD

Palmer, Johnson connect to secure win over Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The only thing Chad Johnson didn't do against the Tennessee Titans was unveil his latest touchdown celebration.

It was over when ...
Cincinnati cornerback Tory James returned a fumble to the Tennessee 1 with less than three minutes to play and the Bengals up by four. The always-dangerous Steve McNair got the ball back down 11 and never had a chance to make fourth-quarter magic.
Game ball goes to ...
Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson. This dynamic pair was feeling it again in Week 6, as Palmer had his ninth straight game with a passer rating of 100 or above and Johnson caught eight balls for 135 yards and a TD. These guys are going to be a scary combination for years to come.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen This game proved the Bengals are for real. They came to play today after a disappointing loss last week. The old Bengals would've folded, but that isn't in the nature of this Marvin Lewis-coached team. Hats off to both teams and especially both coaches, because they are doing a great job getting their guys not to give up and to keep playing hard no matter what. The Titans have to find a running game to give this team some balance because they can't rely on the passing game to win.
-- Eric Allen

Carson Palmer tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to his favorite receiver with 4:19 left that gave Cincinnati the lead for good, and the Bengals bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 31-23 win over the Titans on Sunday.

A penalty forced Johnson to wait and see whether he had scored his first TD against the Titans. By the time the referee announced defensive pass interference, Johnson said the moment for a dance had passed.

"The heat of the moment was gone," Johnson said. "But it would've been a square dance anyway. The heel-toe thing. I was going to go around the goal post, all that good stuff."

A week after complaining about being held to five catches in a loss at Jacksonville, Johnson hooked up with Palmer for eight receptions for 135 yards.

"We had a couple good situations to get Chad one-on-one and get him on a rookie, and that's what we want. A veteran Pro Bowl guy going against a rookie is something that makes me lick my chops," Palmer said.

Palmer also tied Peyton Manning's NFL record with his ninth straight game with a passer rating of 100 or above. He was 27-of-33 for 272 yards and two touchdowns and a rating of 121.2.

"He feels like he's invincible, but right now he knows he can go win it the next play," Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said of his quarterback. "He doesn't have to win it on every play. And I think that says a lot for how he is and how important he is to this football team."

The Titans (2-4) had won nine of the last 10 in this series between old AFC Central rivals, but Cincinnati (5-1) won for the first time since the 2001 season finale and is 1½ games ahead of Pittsburgh in the AFC North heading into its big matchup against the Steelers next week.

Palmer's second touchdown pass put the Bengals up 24-20, and the Bengals ended the Titans' hopes of winning consecutive games for the first time since the end of the 2003 season by forcing two turnovers in the final 3:09.

"This is a team that, yes, is young, but we're trying to get better every week. Obviously, we haven't gotten over that hump," Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck said.

Rudi Johnson ran for a touchdown and Chris Perry had a 1-yard scoring reception, and rookie linebacker Odell Thurman also returned an interception 30 yards for a score for Cincinnati.

The Bengals proved they can play pretty clean football -- the NFL's most penalized team was flagged a season-low four times.

Tennessee failed to do the one thing coach Jeff Fisher preached about: Protecting the football against the NFL's best team at forcing turnovers.

"I'm not going to pin the loss on the offense, but as a team, when you turn it over and don't get turnovers, you're going to have a hard time beating a team like this," Fisher said.

The first came at the end of the third quarter with the Titans leading 17-10.

Tory James hit Titans receiver Tyrone Calico as a pass from Steve McNair arrived, and the ball bumped into the air to Thurman. He notched the Bengals' 13th interception this season and returned it for a touchdown that tied the score at 17.

The Titans took a 20-17 lead on a 29-yard field goal by Rob Bironas with 4:54 left.

Palmer needed only 35 seconds and two defensive pass interference calls on Pacman Jones to put the Bengals ahead to stay at 24-20.

Chad Johnson first drew a 34-yard penalty for interference, and Palmer went back to his favorite receiver in the left corner of the end zone after the two made an adjustment with hand signals to each other.

The Titans still had plenty of time left, but Kevin Kaesviharn picked off a pass intended for Drew Bennett at midfield with 3:09 left.

The defense got the ball back for McNair again, not that it did any good. McNair tossed a 6-yarder to Chris Brown only to see Tory James knock the ball out, pick it up and run it down to the Titans' 1. Rudi Johnson scored on a 1-yard run with 2:26 left.

The Titans made it a bit closer on Bironas' 47-yard field goal with 37 seconds left and going for an onside kick. Kevin Walter recovered for Cincinnati.

Game notes


Manning had a passer rating of 100 or higher in Weeks 5-13 in 2004. Palmer's streak started in Weeks 11-13 of 2004 and in each of the first six games this season. ... Palmer now has thrown 148 consecutive passes without an interception. ... Bennett dislocated his thumb, and defensive tackle Randy Starks sprained his right ankle.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CIN
TEN
1st Downs2421
Passing 1st downs
1714
Rushing 1st downs
67
1st downs from penalties
10
3rd down efficiency
3-106-12
4th down efficiency
0-11-1
Total Plays6265
Total Yards387377
Yards per play6.25.8
Total Drives1113
Passing268259
Comp-Att
27-3326-41
Yards per pass
7.96.3
Interceptions thrown
02
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-40-0
Rushing119118
Rushing Attempts
2824
Yards per rush
4.34.9
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-40-4
Penalties4-325-69
Turnovers03
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
02
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10
Possession29:0430:56

Passing Leaders

CINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Palmer27/332728.2201-4
TENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
McNair26/412596.3020-0

Rushing Leaders

CINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson18804.4113
Perry6284.7010
TENCARYDSAVGTDLG
Brown18844.7212
Roby2168.0011

Receiving Leaders

CINRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson813516.9135
Walter46516.3021
TENRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jones58216.4025
Bennett7618.7014

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERCINTEN
tenTD12:55Chris Brown, 4 yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 58 yds, 9:30
07
tenFG2:14Rob Bironas 16 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 54 yds, 6:14
010
cinTD0:37Chris Perry, 1 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 79 yds, 1:26
710
THIRD QUARTERCINTEN
cinFG7:33Shayne Graham 13 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 15 plays, 77 yds, 7:21
1010
tenTD4:37Chris Brown, 9 yd run (Rob Bironas kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 72 yds, 2:45
1017
tenTD1:10Odell Thurman, 30 yd interception return (Shayne Graham kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 2 yds, 0:00
1717
FOURTH QUARTERCINTEN
tenFG4:59Rob Bironas 21 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 69 yds, 4:51
1720
cinTD4:24Chad Johnson, 15 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 65 yds, 0:22
2420
cinTD2:29Rudi Johnson, 1 yd run (Shayne Graham kick is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 7 yds, 0:40
3120
tenFG0:37Rob Bironas 39 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 40 yds, 1:42
3123