TDBH: Rudi kills clock for AFC while Pro Bowlers hand it to Chad

Posted Feb 12, 2018

This Day in Bengals History - February 13, 2005

HONOLULU _ Bengals running back Rudi Johnson does what he does best today in his first Pro Bowl when he helps the AFC kill the clock in a 38-27 victory over the NFC and gets half his carries in the last drive while finishing as the AFC’s leading rusher. Johnson rips off an 18-yard run in the waning moments on his way to 33 yards on six carries. It was the longest run by an AFC running back in a game that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning takes MVP honors with three touchdown passes to different receivers to give his team a 28-7 lead. The scores go to Indianapolis teammate Marvin Harrison, Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, and Chargers tight end Antonio Gates. Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson doesn’t have a catch, but Manning does try to go long down the field to him on the game's first play. Johnson has Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber beat, but the play-action pass is slightly underthrown and Barber is able to get a hand on it.  In a change made during the week, Bengals cornerback Tory James draws the start in his first Pro Bowl. Bengals right tackle Willie Anderson doesn't play in his second Pro Bowl as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery but is on the sidelines.

Even though Chad Johnson doesn’t have a catch, he puts on quite a show yesterday and when he receives congratulations for winning "Best Hands" at the Pro Bowl Skills Challenge, he responds, "But you already knew that."  T.J. Houshmandzadeh isn't so sure. Johnson's partner on the other side of the Bengals' offense is in Hawaii with his buddy and observes, "He doesn't even have the best hands on his team and now he's got the best in the league."  He doesn't drop a ball until the last one and that’s because "I was goofing around. I was trying to jump and catch it at the same time."  But that’s the only trouble he has with the jugs machine. Each contestant has a certain amount of time to catch low balls, medium balls and high balls. From what Houshmandzadeh sees, the high passes are the key against a field that includes Gates, Harrison, Ward, Muhsin Muhammad of the Panthers and Javon Walker of the Packers as well Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez.

"The other guys were standing too close, and the balls were too high for them to reach," Houshmandzadeh says. "Chad was smart enough to move back a couple of steps, and he didn't have to reach that high. I still think I've got better hands."  But this second trip to the Pro Bowl has Johnson so mellow, he doesn't want to even get into any kind of trash talk, never mind ball talk. "Nobody is talking football over here. The season's over. I don't think anyone is taking the game very seriously," Johnson says. "(The challenge) doesn't mean that much to me. I'm glad because it helps put the organization on the map. Whatever I'm doing over here is all for the stripes. That's the big thing. To let people know we're the Bengals."

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