|Johnson catches both passes thrown to him for Lions in 27-26 win over Bengals|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 09 August 2007 16:59|
Johnson caught two passes for 45 yards late in the first half to set up a score and the Detroit Lions rallied late to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-26 on Thursday night in the exhibition opener for both teams.
The 6-foot-5, 239-pound receiver displayed his speed and savvy on his first catch, sprinting and settling into a spot behind a cornerback and in front of a safety. On the next play, Johnson used his body and leaping ability to shield first-round pick Leon Hall for a 21-yard reception that was the second and final ball thrown to him.
Cincinnati led 26-17 midway through the fourth quarter, but the Lions won the battle of third- and fourth-string players.
Dan Orlovsky threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Kasper with 50 seconds left after Detroit recovered an onside kick following Kenny Byrd's field goal.
Cincinnati got in position to win the game, stopping the clock with 1 second left, but Shayne Graham, who kicked four field goals, was wide left on a 48-yard attempt.
If the score counted only when the starters were in the game, the Bengals would have won 6-0.
Carson Palmer completed seven of 10 passes for 93 yards to set up two field goals on his only two drives, totaling 121 yards. The Bengals held Detroit's first-string defense to just three first downs on its two possessions.
Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh each caught two of Palmer's passes, combining for 74 yards. Rudi Johnson ran through a huge hole for a 20-yard gain on the first play of the game and finished with five carries for 32 yards.
The Bengals might have lost his backup.
Rookie running back Kenny Irons injured his left knee and ankle and was taken to the locker room on a cart after hobbling off the field. He had four carries for 17 yards, including an 11-yard gain, after replacing Johnson.
The second-round pick from Auburn was hurt when his foot appeared to get caught up in the artificial turf while making a stutter-step move. Kenny Watson, Quincy Wilson and rookie Curtis Brown shared the carries after Irons left the game.
Jon Kitna was 3-for-5 for 52 yards, including a 23-yard pass to Roy Williams, over two possessions before his backups competed to be Detroit's No. 2 quarterback.
J.T. O'Sullivan was 12-of-19 for 225 yards, a score and an interception. Orlovsky completed 15 of 23 passes for 220 yards with two TDs and an interception that was returned for a score.
Rookie Matt Toeaina - a 6-foot-2, 311-pound defensive tackle - caught the fluttering football and rumbled 81 yards for a score that gave Cincinnati a 26-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Cincinnati's Chris Henry is suspended for the first eight games of the season for violating the NFL's conduct policies, but that didn't keep him off the field at Detroit. He caught six passes for 86 yards, including a 9-yard TD with 1:08 left the first half to give the Bengals a 16-7 lead.