Posted: 2:40 a.m.
After four seasons, 42 games on the shelf, and 53 rushing touchdowns by other Bengals, running back Chris Perry finally got his first one Sunday on one of those plays that could have changed the season if Cincinnati had held on instead of losing, 24-7.
A week after getting stuffed on fourth-and-one on what turned out to be the Bengals' last play of a 17-10 loss, Perry broke a fourth-and-one against Tennessee for a 13-yard touchdown that tied the game at 7 with 3:16 left in the first half.
But that turned out to be 20 percent of his yards on the day right there as he finished with just 64 on 21 carries. A career high for carries and his second most yards, but Perry, saddled by injury since being the Bengals No. 1 draft pick in 2004, thought it could have been more.
"We need to work on our consistency," he said. "We have a nice drive, or we have a good couple of plays and on the key play we're not consistent. Whether it be me or somebody else."
Perry rode the blocking of the right side of the line before simply jetting away from the diving tackle of Titans linebacker Stephen Tulloch and going into the end zone untouched.
"I was excited at the moment; I was happy to get it," Perry said. "But I was more worried about getting the first down. It kind of fades when you lose a game like this, so I'm not thinking too much about it."
Plenty were thinking about the illegal substitution call on the Bengals that turned out to be a huge play. On first-and-10 from the Tennessee 20 in a game they trailed, 14-7, Perry carried for four yards and for two to set up a third-and-four from the 14.
But it turned into a third-and-nine from the 19 because of the penalty and following an incompletion, the wind wreaked havoc on Shayne Graham's 37-yard field-goal attempt that hit the right upright.
Perry was in the middle of that illegal sub call and there were those that thought it wasn't called correctly.
"I'm watching the big screen walking backward and they say, 'Chris, you're out.' I run out, (Kenny Watson) runs in, they say we've got 12 men in the huddle. I guess it's my mistake. I should go ahead and stop looking at the big screen," Perry said. "(Watson) was standing 10 yards behind the huddle."
Quarterback Carson Palmer indicated he didn't know why the refs called it.
"It was miscommunication with the personnel we had in the huddle." Palmer said. "The 12-men-on-the-field; I felt like I saw Kenny step outside the huddle, and one guy came in. As the player left, he stepped back in the huddle and the flag went down. I'm not sure what happened on that.
" I'm not sure if it was a judgment call by the ref, or if we did have 12 guys in the huddle. But, to my best recollection, I thought I saw Kenny (Watson) step back five yards away from the huddle, (and then) into the huddle and I saw the flag go. So I'm not sure."
Perry said he checks out the scoreboard to see if he's run the right route or made the proper cut.