TDBH: Bengals stiff Brees while Chad sails to NFL record

Posted Nov 18, 2017

This Day in Bengals History - November 19, 2006

NEW ORLEANS - While the debate rages if this is truly a more reserved and mature Chad Johnson, the Bengals Pro Bowl wide receiver leaves no doubt today in the Superdome that he's still one of those rare playmakers that can take a game by the scruff of the neck and make it his own as he recaptures the Old Chad's spot on top of the AFC receiving yards list. It is one of those days that allows right tackle Willie Anderson to observe, "I think he understands now he's as famous as he's ever going to get," after the Bengals’ 31-16 victory over the Saints. Johnson's six catches for 190 yards and a personal-best three touchdowns are so good that he also takes a slice of the NFL record book in breaking John Taylor's 17-year record of yards receiving in consecutive games with 450. "It's good to see Chad back and that other 85 character went somewhere else," head coach Marvin Lewis says. Two weeks ago Johnson fumes in Baltimore after four catches for 32 yards leave him in 10th place in the AFC. After last week's Bengals-record 260 yards on top of this, he leads the Colts' Reggie Wayne and the AFC by 47 yards with 932 and is now headed to his fourth straight conference receiving yardage title.

Quarterback Carson Palmer is also red-hot and he has to be to fend off Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ 510 passing yards in order to stop the Bengals’ three-game slide and get the Bengals back to .500 at 5-5. He sifts foes the last two weeks for six touchdowns, an interception, and a staggering 11.2 yards per pass. His own 715 passing yards the past two weeks are a career best, as are his consecutive passer ratings of 127.8 today and 131.1 the week before.  His TD bomb of 60 yards and then a 48-yarder to Johnson that sets up Johnson’ four-yard TD busts open a 10-10 game in a span of three minutes early in the fourth quarter.  "This game we were aggressive," Johnson says. "And that's something I've always talked about. Regardless of the coverage. Let's just go at it. We dictated what we wanted to do regardless of what coverages showed."

 Rookie safety Ethan Kilmer secures the game when the third-string safety, playing for injured backup Keiwan Ratliff, steps in front of running back Aaron Stecker and returns it 52 yards for a touchdown that makes it 31-10 with 6:14 left on Kilmer’s first series and fourth snap from scrimmage as an NFL defensive player.  Kilmer, a seventh-rounder, was drafted mainly as a special teams ace and is in just his fourth year of football playing his first year at safety. He played wide receiver at Penn State and with the spate of injuries at receiver, he's also been working there for the past month. "Whenever they need me on offense, I go to the offense. Whenever they need me on defense, I go to the defense," Kilmer says. "Wherever they need me I go."

Thus the nickname “Three-Way,” in honor of Cincinnati chili after Brees' third interception of the day and his offense's fourth turnover, which is how the Bengals beat  those 510 yards. It’s the second most against the Bengals. The Giants' Phil Simms had 513 on Oct. 13, 1985, in a 35-30 victory at Riverfront Stadium.. The up-and-down Bengals who were once 4-2 are revived. "There was no Jekyll and Hyde today," defensive tackle John Thornton says. "I really felt we had that focus. When I talked to my wife this morning I told her we were going to win. She said 'you never say that.' That's what I felt; it was like that all week because of our focus."

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