Bengals Secondary Will Look to Get Revenge on Bills WR Steve Johnson

The Bengals hosted the Bills last season at home for their tenth game of the season. Like Josh mentioned, they went into half time with a 24-point lead and ended up losing by 18 points. It was one of the single most disappointing losses of a 12-loss season. One of the main reasons the Bills came back from such a large half time deficit was wide receiver Steve Johnson and three second half touchdowns.

Johnson had the third best game of his career against the Bengals in 2010, catching eight passes for 137 yards and the three touchdowns that helped the Bills pull out the biggest come back victory since 1997. 

Even though the Bengals had a secondary depleted by injuries by that time in the season but both Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph started the game. The Bengals did lose three of their four starting defensive backs to injury in the game which didn't help them as they tried to stop quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick from finding Johnson in the second half for three touchdowns.

The first touchdown came on a third-and-seven play from the Bengals' 29-yard line. Leon Hall was lined up across from Johnson, who was clustered in a group of three receivers just off the line. When Fitzpatrick took the snap in shotgun, running back Fred Jackson took off towards the flat in front of Hall, causing him to hesitate just for a second which was all Johnson needed. He found a wide open space between Hall and safety Chinedum Ndukwe and Fitzpatrick got him the ball. By the time Hall caught up with Johnson, who cut inside of Ndukwe after he caught the ball, it was too late. Hall tackled Johnson just as he entered the end zone. Johnson looked at the camera and lifted up his jersey to show a t-shirt that read "why so serious?"

The second touchdown came just after the fourth quarter began. The Bills had the ball on the Bengals' 11-yard and it was second-and-10. Again Hall was matched up with Johnson. Fitzpatrick took the ball in the shotgun and Johnson faded towards the left sideline and ran towards the back of the end zone. He beat Hall badly on the play and Fitzpatrick threw a perfect pass right in Johnson's hands and Hall was too far behind him to even attempt to knock the ball down. With that touchdown, the Bills took a 35-31 lead.

The last Johnson touchdown came on a first-and-10 play from the Bengals' 32-yard line. Johnson was lined up on the left side of the field in the slot. Rico Murray was lined up across him. Fitzpatrick was under center. He took the snap and faked the hand off to Fred Jackson to the left. Johnson ran a deep slant. Somehow, not one Bengals player covered him. When Johnson made his break Murray went to another receiver and Johnson caught a pass from Fitzpatrick without one player within 10 yards of him. He caught the pass at the 15-yard line and ran into the left corner of the end zone completely untouched.

Johnson has yet to break 100-yards receiving in a game this year but he has had two games in which he's racked up 90 yards and he's had a touchdown catch in all three games. With the departure of Johnathan Joseph in the offseason, Johnson will likely go head-to-head with Hall again. This time Hall is going to have to play better if the Bengals want to have a shot at defeating the undefeated Bills on Sunday.

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