Bengals 21, Packers 14
The Bengals intercepted five Brett Favre passes, the first time in 215 regular season games Favre had thrown five interceptions, and the Bengals defeated Green Bay 21-14 this afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals are 6-2 for the first time since 1988. The Packers fell to 1-6. The Bengals will maintain their lead in the AFC North over Pittsburgh, which plays Monday night at home against Baltimore.
The Bengals have intercepted five passes in a game four times in franchise history – three times this season. They previously intercepted five passes in games against Minnesota and at Chicago. Fifteen of the Bengals’ 20 interceptions through eight games have come against NFC Central teams.
Cornerback Deltha O’Neal and middle linebacker Odell Thurman each had two interceptions, and cornerback Tory James had one. O’Neal has six for the season, and Thurman and James each have four.
The single-game Bengals franchise record is six, accomplished twice, in 1971 and 1976.
The Bengals are a league-leading plus-20 in turnover differential. The victory over the Packers was their seventh in a row against NFC teams.
The home crowd of 65,940 was the second highest in franchise history, behind only week’s game against Pittsburgh.
Favre threw six interceptions in an NFC playoff game at St. Louis following the 2001 season.
Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer threw three touchdown passes and one interception. He now has 16 touchdown passes and five interceptions. Palmer came in with 13, one behind Favre. Favre threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Bubba Franks with 3:11 remaining in the game.
The Bengals held a 14-7 lead at halftime but could not capitalize on Favre’s second and third interceptions. O’Neal intercepted him twice in the third quarter on passes intended for wide receiver Donald Driver. Then James picked off Favre – his fourth of the game.
But the Bengals could not get points off an interception until early in the fourth quarter, when Thurman caught a pass that had been tipped by O’Neal.
Palmer threw his third touchdown pass, 27 yards down the middle to fullback Jeremi Johnson. It was Johnson’s fifth reception of the season, three for touchdowns.
The Bengals scored just seven points off turnovers, giving them 84 for the season.
The Bengals, as was the case against the Steelers last week, had an impressive long drive to open the game. Unlike the previous game, the Bengals scored on their first possession.
On third down and goal from the Packers 4-yard line, Palmer hit running back Chris Perry with a fastball for the touchdown. Perry beat Green Bay linebackers Paris Lenon and Robert Thomas.
The drive was set-up by a 36-yard kickoff return by rookie Tab Perry, who played in spite of a back injury that had him listed as questionable Friday.
The Bengals were 3 of 3 on third down plays on the drive, including a pair of 12-yard completions to wide receiver Kevin Walter and tight end Matt Schobel.
The Packers tied the game 7-7 with 9:35 left in the second quarter. Favre was 5 of 6 passing for 50 yards, and tailback Tony Fisher capped a 66-yard drive with a leap over the pile from the 1-yard line.
The Bengals responded with another long drive of their own. They went 73 yards on 12 plays, scoring on an 8-yard pass from Palmer to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Passes on first and second downs to Chad Johnson and Chris Perry were incomplete. On the drive, the Bengals were 3 of 3 on third down, including one Green Bay penalty.
The Bengals were 2 of 2 for touchdowns in the red zone.
The Bengals got the ball back on an interception by linebacker Odell Thurman inside of the two-minute warning in the first half.
End Robert Geathers knocked the ball into the air, and it was tipped by tackle John Thornton before Thurman caught it.
Taking possession at their 43-yard line, the Bengals drove deep into Green Bay territory but bad clock management prevented them from scoring.
On second down and 9 from the Packers 29-yard line, Palmer threw an out pass to Houshmandzadeh near the sideline. Eight seconds remained on the clock at the time of the snap. Houshmandzadeh broke two tackles and ran toward the sideline, but instead of stepping out of bounds, he ran down the sideline before being tackled at the 9. But the clock had expired before he could get the timeout. The Bengals would have had time for a field goal attempt had he run out of bounds and stopped the clock. Palmer came over and yelled at Houshmandzadeh.
Palmer had another strong showing in the first half. He was 16-for-21 passing for 146 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating was 126.3.
Bengals cornerback Reggie Myles bruised his knee covering a punt toward the end of the third quarter but did return.