Bengals pad lead enough to withstand late flurry

Associated Press
Published November 28, 2005

CINCINNATI - Chad Johnson had a long touchdown catch that made everything look easy for the Bengals.

Almost too easy.

Carson Palmer threw three touchdowns as Cincinnati completed a sweep of the last-place Ravens.

With Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller fumbling and stumbling, the Bengals led 34-0 late in the third quarter, then weathered a couple of turnovers and defensive lapses.

"When you're up by that much, you think the game's over," Palmer said. "We needed to do a better job of controlling the game."

The Bengals moved half a game ahead of Pittsburgh in the AFC North. The Steelers face the Colts tonight and host Cincinnati on Sunday.

"Next week will probably be the biggest game I've played since I've been in the league," said T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who caught nine passes for 147 yards. "I would say this will be the biggest game the majority of us have played."

The Bengals are already up for it. Johnson waved a tattered "Terrible Towel" after the game. He also had another elaborate end zone celebration, uprooting a pylon and putting the football like a golf ball after his 54-yard touchdown catch.