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TDBH: Bengals set tone for ’05 with rout of resting Eagles as Chad, Rudi hit numbers

Posted Jan 1, 2018

This Day in Bengals History - January 2, 2005

PHILADELPHIA - The Bengals do what they’re supposed to do in today’s season finale against an Eagles team that is the top seed in the NFC playoffs and goes on vacation a week before its bye. Cincinnati engineers a 38-10 rout by taking advantage of an Eagles offense without MVP candidate Donovan McNabb and shoddy special teams play to produce five turnovers and a bevy of single-season club records. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis completes his second straight 8-8 season by leading his team to its most victories in back-to-back seasons since 1989-90 and objects to the notion the Bengals take advantage of the Eagles not playing their stars. "Neither did Carson Palmer, Richie Braham, Tony Williams, Nate Webster, I could go on and on," says Lewis, who could add Peter Warrick among his own missing starters. "I can't make an apology for winning.” The Bengals find themselves in a rare lap of luxury in a fourth quarter they can attack the record book instead of watching the scoreboard. They also set the tone for next season’s 11-5 record that gives them the AFC North title.

Running back Rudi Johnson leads the way scoring his career-high third touchdown with about 10 minutes left in the game on a three-yard run on his way to 99 yards. Johnson finishes with 1,454 yards to break Corey Dillon's franchise single-season rushing mark of 1,435.  When kicker Shayne Graham converts the extra point after that touchdown, it gives him 122 points for the season to break Doug Pelfrey's 1995 record of 121.  A six-yard pop behind right tackle Willie Anderson and right guard Bobbie Williams with six minutes left gives Rudi Johnson his record.  Anderson stays in the game until Johnson gets the record despite playing on a knee that will undergo arthroscopic surgery in the next couple of days. Anderson even waves off Scott Kooistra when Kooistra tries to come into the game in the second half.  "We wanted to rip up the old page and write a new chapter," Anderson said. "People thought it was just Corey, and Corey is a great back. But we knew we were a good offensive line too. It's not like they didn't play all of their guys," Anderson says of the Eagles. "They were playing guys like Corey Simon, Hugh Douglas, and Jeremiah Trotter into the third quarter."

Another Johnson also gets into the act. Terrell Owens, the Eagles Pro Bowl receiver sidelined by an injured ankle, apparently is well enough to host Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson for dinner Saturday night. Johnson is looking for 101 catches on the season and the Bengals' season record, and he tried to hold on to his 10-yard edge over Tennessee's Drew Bennett to claim his second straight AFC receiving title.  Johnson gets the title, but not the team record when he finishes with 95 catches.

The Bengals defense also raises its hand when rookie defensive end Robert Gathers picks off Eagles quarterback and old friend Jeff Blake's screen pass and races 36 yards for a touchdown that marks the club's fifth defensive touchdown of the season to tie the record set by the 1983 team for a 24-3 lead with 6:20 left in the third quarter. "I knew I was going to get it; there wasn't a doubt," says Rudi Johnson of the record. "There were too many people pulling for me. It means a lot to me, my teammates and my coaches."  Geathers becomes the second Bengals rookie to take a pick all the way this season, joining safety Madieu Williams and his 51-yard interception return against the Titans. Simmons, safety Kevin Kaesviharn and cornerback Deltha O'Neal also accomplished the feat as rookies. O'Neal also has an end-zone interception today and is getting ready for a big ’05, where he’ll set the Bengals’ record with 10 interceptions and help them lead the NFL in turnovers.  Even though the defense racks up their most turnovers since 1996 with 36, it turns out to be defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier’s last game when Lewis dismisses him a few days later.

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