Chad Johnson went directly from talking to trashing the Minnesota Vikings.
Johnson caught a 70-yard touchdown pass on the game’s second play Sunday, and the Cincinnati Bengals had their way during a 37-8 victory over the Vikings that made a statement and raised a question.
Yes, the 2-0 Bengals think they’re for real.
“It’s right there in front of us,” said Johnson, who had seven catches for 139 yards.
“This year we can do something special.”
And the 0-2 Vikings? Are they really this bad? So far, yes.
“We have a veteran group with a lot of pride, and we’re embarrassed with the way we’re playing,” said Daunte Culpepper, who had a career-high five interceptions.
“I’m determined to fix it. One thing we’ve got to do is stay together.”
And ignore the talk.
Johnson got his mouth going during pregame introductions, talking a little friendly trash to Viking cornerback Fred Smoot. The receiver had challenged him during the week to show what he’s got.
The Bengals had it all over the Vikings, rolling up 337 yards and a 27-0 lead in the first half. Johnson topped 100 yards receiving before halftime, setting the tone for Cincinnati’s most lopsided win in three years.
The Vikings turned the ball over seven times overall and didn’t get closer than the Bengals’ 49-yard line in the first half.
Carson Palmer completed his first nine passes against a dazed defense. Palmer completed 27 of 40 passes for 337 yards with touchdown passes to three receivers.