Ochocinco kicks, Brady takes hits in Bengals win
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Chad Ochocinco showed he can kick as well as catch. And Tom Brady showed he can take a hit a very hard one.
With Shayne Graham nursing a tender groin, Ochocinco, Cincinnati’s career leader in catches, yards receiving and name changes, booted an extra point late in the first half a point that gave the Bengals a 7-6 win over the New England Patriots on Thursday night.
By that time, Brady was done for the night after being knocked down twice on his 13 snaps, one week after remaining upright on all 24 of his snaps in a 27-25 win at Philadelphia.
He got up quickly both times, his left knee passing the test after surgery that followed a season-ending knee injury in last year’s opener.
Keith Rivers tossed Brady softly after the NFL’s 2007 MVP threw incomplete on his third snap and landed on his back. On the first play of his second and last series, Brady was flattened by left end Robert Geathers, who easily got around right tackle Nick Kaczur and dumped Brady on his left side.
Cincinnati scored the only touchdown between field goals of 32 and 41 yards by New England’s Stephen Gostkowski and led 7-6 at halftime.
Late in the game, the Patriots drove to a first down at the Bengals 12, but Cincinnati’s Marvin White recovered BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ fumble with 3:43 to play
The only touchdown came on J.T. O’Sullivan 24-yard pass to Chris Henry in the back left side of the end zone with 1:55 left in the half. Then the former Chad Johnson trotted onto the field and lined up behind holder Kevin Huber. The snap, hold and kick all worked as planned.
” ‘Esteban’ Ochocinco is back, the most interesting footballer in the world,” Ochocinco said. “Everyone has to remember, I’ve always said that soccer is my No. 1 sport. I think Ronaldinho would be proud of me right now.”
Graham played in the Bengals 17-7 loss to New Orleans last Friday night and was in uniform Thursday night, but coach Marvin Lewis didn’t want to take a chance with the team’s franchise player when Graham’s groin was tender in pregame warmups.
Ochocinco had never tried an extra point in his eight NFL seasons in exhibition or regular-season games but has kicked in practice. The Bengals list no backup kicker on their depth chart.
O’Sullivan started while Carson Palmer sat out with a right ankle injury suffered in the exhibition opener. Palmer doesn’t expect to miss the regular-season opener and could return before then.
Brady proved for the second straight week that his knee injury is behind him although some of his passes were off target, including an overthrow of Wes Welker in the end zone.
Brady went 4-for-8 for 57 yards, including a 32-yard gain on which Welker ran most of the way. He was more productive in the opening 27-25 win at Philadelphia when he threw two scoring passes to Chris Baker.