Final

Bengals 31

(5-5, 3-2 away)

Saints 16

(6-4, 3-2 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, November 19, 2006

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA 

1 2 3 4 T
CIN 7 3 0 2131
NO 7 0 0 916

Top Performers

Passing: D. Brees (NO) - 510 YDS, 2 TD, 3 INT

Rushing: R. Johnson (CIN) - 27 CAR, 111 YDS

Receiving: C. Johnson (CIN) - 6 REC, 190 YDS, 3 TD

Brees throws for 510 yards ... and loses to Bengals

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- If anyone doubted how seriously Chad Johnson takes his role on the Cincinnati Bengals, consider this: He was too hurt to perform his trademark end zone celebrations.

Scouts Inc.'s take ...
Despite six starters inactive this week, the Bengals still brought a balanced attack to New Orleans to get the win on the road. Carson Palmer (above) continually looked in Chad Johnson's direction, as the Saints had no one on their defense who could keep up with Johnson from an athletic and talent standpoint.

Cincinnati's success with the deep ball softened up the Saints' defense for the physicality of Rudi Johnson. Plus, the Bengals' pass protection was superb. Despite the fact he threw for 510 yards, the Bengals defense kept Drew Brees off balance. Cincinnati had success with safety blitzes and caused turnovers (including two costly ones in the end zone).

He retained the will to score game-breaking touchdowns.

For a second Sunday in a row, Johnson and quarterback Carson Palmer terrorized an opposing defense, connecting for 190 yards and three touchdowns. This time, however, it resulted in a 31-16 victory over the New Orleans Saints that halted a three-game losing skid and renewed hope of a playoff run in the Bengals' locker room.

"I'm trying to be as consistent as possible, trying to make sure I do all I can to make sure we come up out of this hole and make this run," said Johnson, who limped into the end zone at the end of a 60-yard touchdown reception that gave the Bengals a 17-10 lead in the fourth quarter. "It was a necessary victory. A must win."

Johnson said his right hamstring was hurting, but returned on the next series and caught a 48-yard pass, followed by a 4-yard TD catch on a quick slant as the Bengals (5-5) pulled away.

"I knew Chad was going to come back in the game," Palmer said. "He had been playing so well. He's a tough guy."

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees lost top receiver Marques Colston, who left with an ankle injury in the first offensive series. That didn't slow down Brees, who went on to throw for more than 500 yards and two TDs.

Elias Says
Chad Johnson
Chad Johnson gained 190 yards receiving in the Bengals' 31-16 win at New Orleans. Combined with his 260-yard performance against the Chargers last week, Johnson set an all-time NFL record for receiving yardage in consecutive games (450). The previous mark was 448 yards by John Taylor of the 49ers in December 1989.

• For more Elias Says, Click here

Saints coach Sean Payton said Colston has a sprained left ankle, and did not yet know his status for next week.

The Saints (6-4) couldn't overcome Brees' three interceptions.

"Our guys are playing with a tremendous amount of energy, but they're making too many mistakes," Payton said.

Palmer and Johnson had combined for 260 yards and two touchdowns last week against San Diego, but it was all for naught in a 49-41 loss. This week, they got some help from the defense, which thwarted four Saints drives with turnovers.

Palmer was 14-of-22 passing for 275 yards and benefited from the balance provided by Rudi Johnson's 111 yards rushing for the Bengals (5-5).

Palmer was intercepted once, but made the Saints pay when they blew coverages on play-action fakes. On the Bengals' first touchdown, Johnson changed his route, sprinting past cornerback Fred Thomas and raising his hand when he saw Saints safety Josh Bullocks wasn't deep enough. Palmer saw it and lofted a 41-yarder on target.

"That's nothing more than Chad and I just making eye contact through a route and the defense not even being around him because they're out of position," Palmer said. "Chad and I have worked together a lot, not just during the season. ... We understand each other. I understand how Chad runs certain routes and know he's always looking for that big play if he can get behind the defense."

New Orleans looked like the better team for much of the game, but as it was in its two previous losses to Pittsburgh and Baltimore, turnovers were costly.

"We can move the ball at will, any time, any place ... through the air, on the ground, whatever it takes," Brees said. "But when it really comes down to it, you have to take care of the football, you have to convert on third down. We can be as good as we want to be as long as we take care of the football."

Two promising drives ended with interceptions in the end zone.

Brees also had an interception returned 52 yards for a touchdown by Ethan Kilmer that gave the Bengals a 31-10 lead with 6:14 to go.

Cincinnati's defense made an important stand early in the fourth quarter, stopping Deuce McAllister on a third-and-1 at the Bengals' 5-yard line. A touchdown could have put New Orleans ahead and changed the complexion of the game. Instead, John Carney's short field goal tied the game at 10.

Brees was 37-of-52 for 510 yards passing, his fourth consecutive game with more than 300 yards. But New Orleans has lost three of those four games, including two in a row.

Reggie Bush and McAllister combined for 91 yards rushing, with Bush accounting for 51.

Brees' touchdown passes went for 72 yards to Joe Horn in the first quarter and 27 yards to Terrance Copper late in the game.

Game notes


Horn's touchdown in the first quarter was his 50th for the Saints. He became one of only two players to ever reach 50 in New Orleans. The other was Dalton Hilliard, who had 53 from 1986-93. ... Kevin Kaesviharn, inserted as a starter at safety for injured Dexter Jackson (Achilles tendon) had 10 tackles, including two sacks, and an interception. ... Brees' passing yardage total was sixth-highest in NFL history. The most is 554 by Norm Van Brocklin with the Los Angeles Rams in 1951.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CIN
NO
1st Downs1529
Passing 1st downs
1025
Rushing 1st downs
53
1st downs from penalties
01
3rd down efficiency
4-116-12
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays5477
Total Yards385595
Yards per play7.17.7
Total Drives1313
Passing266504
Comp-Att
14-2237-52
Yards per pass
11.69.3
Interceptions thrown
13
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-92-6
Rushing11991
Rushing Attempts
3123
Yards per rush
3.84.0
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-31-4
Penalties2-104-25
Turnovers14
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
13
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10
Possession26:2733:33

Passing Leaders

CINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Palmer14/2227512.5311-9
NOC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brees37/525109.8232-6

Rushing Leaders

CINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson271114.1022
Johnson166.006
NOCARYDSAVGTDLG
Bush13513.908
McAllister10404.008

Receiving Leaders

CINRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson619031.7360
Kelly13232.0032
NORECYDSAVGTDLG
Henderson916918.8044
Horn39331.0172

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCINNO
cinTD13:13Chad Johnson, 41 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 67 yds, 1:52
70
noTD8:31Joe Horn, 72 yd pass from Drew Brees (John Carney kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 67 yds, 0:11
77
SECOND QUARTERCINNO
cinFG7:33Shayne Graham 21 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 76 yds, 6:25
107
FOURTH QUARTERCINNO
noFG13:43John Carney 24 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 74 yds, 6:33
1010
cinTD10:34Chad Johnson, 60 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham kick is good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 78 yds, 3:16
1710
cinTD7:41Chad Johnson, 4 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 74 yds, 1:08
2410
cinTD6:25Ethan Kilmer, 52 yd interception return (Shayne Graham kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 25 yds, 1:23
3110
noTD4:27Terrance Copper, 27 yd pass from Drew Brees
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yds, 1:53
3116