After winning a challenge that turned a Packers first down into a fourth and one with the clock and game ticking away to four minutes, Johnson forced rookie running back Jonathan Franklin to fumble and when safety Reggie Nelson picked it up and also fumbled after a few yards, cornerback Terence Newman got a hand on it and ran 58 yards for a touchdown that gave the Bengals a wild 34-30 win.
Newman and cornerback Leon Hall picked off Rodgers on consecutive series in the second half and the Bengals sacked him four times.
But when the Bengals faced the NFL’s best offense with 3:47 left, the defense was gassed. Hall wasn’t on the field with a hamstring injury and safety Taylor Mays replaced him at conerback to cover Randall Cobb, quick passes to drive down the field until he couldn’t get his passes over Johnson and Dunlap.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver AJ Green cut the lead to 30-21 late in third quarter and his 11 yard pass to wide receiver Marvin Jones made it 30-27 with 10 minutes left in the game on a touchdown set up by rookie running back Giovani Benard’s 31-yard run that sparked the rally. Mike Nugent had his extra point blocked.
After being staked to a 16-14 halftime lead even though the Packers didn’t have a TD, Rodgers heated up to lead two touchdown drives the first two times he had the ball in the second half.
He had a little help. On a third down play of the opening drive, Nelson blitzed and appeared to hit Rodgers in the chest as he forced an in-completion. But Nelson was called for roughing to give the Packers and it resulted in Franklin’s two-yard touchdown run that made it 23-14.
With rookie Eddie Lacy already on the sideline with a concussion and starter James Starks sidelined in the first half, Franklin gave the Bengals problems with his stops and starts on the way to a 100 yard day with 103 yards on 13 carries. He appeared to be stopped on the next series, but he reversed field to the center, juked in the middle, and went off for a 51-yarder that set up James Jones’s seven yard TD catch.
The Bengals responded in textbook fashion Sunday when they took a 14-0 lead by the time Rodgers took his first snap of the game.
But the Bengals couldn’t take advantage of it in the first half because of four consecutive turnovers that handed the Packers a 16-14 halftime lead even though Green Bay didn’t score an offensive touchdown.
It was hard to say what was more unbelievable. The four turnovers that gave the Packers the ball at the Bengals 26, 37, 27 and a touchdown when a safety scooped up a fumble by running back BenJarvius Green Eilis for a 24-yard return.
The Bengals took the opening kickoff and reeled off an 80-yard touchdown drive behind Dalton’s 3-for-3 passing and Bernard’s three-yard touchdown,
Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson, deflected Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’s fourth-and-five pass from the Bengals 20 with 1:25 left to seal a wild 34-30 victory.On the previous play his bookend Carlos Dunlap, batted down another on.
The Bengals at 2-1 will head up north to Cleveland to take on the Browns (1-2) this Sunday at 1pm.