TDBH: Bengals grind out win before their largest regular-season crowd ever

Posted Nov 13, 2017

This Day in Bengals History - November 14, 2004

LANDOVER, Md. - In front of the biggest crowd ever to see the Bengals play in a regular-season game at 87,736, they forge their first road victory of the season today at FedEx Field  against another 3-5 team by taking a 17-0 lead in the first 23 minutes against Washington’s 's top-ranked NFL defense. Cornerback Tory James adds his NFL-leading sixth interception for one of Cincinnati's three turnovers that seals a day the Bengals come up with a season-high five sacks from five different players in 17-10 victory over Washington.  "Were we on the road? I didn't notice," says Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis after the team's first away win since last Nov. 30 in Pittsburgh. The Bengals are in the midst of playing the league’s top defense three times in five weeks. Last month they roll up 323 yards in a win over Denver and today quarterback Carson Palmer records the first road victory of his NFL career on 23 of 39 passing for 217 yards before heading to Pittsburgh next week after the Steelers supplant Washington as the league’s best defense after the Bengals get through with them.

“We know they don't know how the teams in our division play. Our division is a smash-mouth football division," says Bengals right tackle Willie Anderson. "Even though they were the top-ranked defense, they hadn't faced an offense that does what we do." Anderson's line is a major reason for what the Bengals do today. Which is roll up 316 yards for the third highest total against Washington this year as running back Rudi Johnson joins Baltimore's Jamal Lewis as the only backs with 100-yard days against them. For the second straight week, the line doesn’t allow Palmer to get sacked, a major achievement against the league's best third-down defense. Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who has a game-high seven catches for 59 yards, recalls what offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski  says during the week: “No one had really run it right at them, so we were going to do that. Sometimes it worked and when it didn't, it opened up other things."  Rudi Johnson takes his cue and pounds out 102 yards on a season-high 31 carries.  Just 39 of his yards came on 15 second-half carries, but he can tell you why.  "They replaced the safety with a fourth linebacker, so that's telling you something," Johnson says. "You'd have to say that was a major adjustment in their defense. They didn't want us to run the ball." Anderson says it’s the least the line can do for a quarterback on his maiden voyage, "That's what we've been saying all along," Anderson says. "As a line, we have to play the best we can play to overcome Carson's youthfulness. The defense, everybody has to play at a higher level to overcome his youthfulness. Much higher than last year."

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