Battle of Ohio: Round 2

Published 9:59 am Monday, November 30, 2009

CINCINNATI (AP) — For Larry Johnson, it felt like the good old days.

Less than two weeks after he signed with Cincinnati as the equivalent of a half-season insurance policy, the running back found himself leading the charge — just as he did in his glory years with Kansas City. He ran for 107 yards on Sunday during a 16-7 win over the Cleveland Browns, who got run over all day long.

“It just takes me back to the old days of a couple years ago,” said Johnson, who was released by the Chiefs as he was set to return from a suspension. “I’ve always admired the AFC North because they run the football. In my (former) division, you had to throw it 100 times before you ran it.”

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The Bengals (8-3) ran the table in Johnson’s new division by hardly throwing the ball. They came out determined to take advantage of a defense that is one of the league’s worst at stopping the run, and didn’t deviate from the plan when injuries got in the way.

Cedric Benson missed his second straight game because of a sprained hip. When rookie backup Bernard Scott was hobbled briefly by a minor knee injury, Johnson got to show his new team what he’s got left.

Plenty, it turns out.

The Browns (1-10) gave up 210 yards on the ground, the third time this season that Cleveland has allowed a team to run for more than 200.