While the flamboyant All-Pro wideout was effectively silenced on the field by the Baltimore secondary in a 26-20 win for the Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, he wasn't about to hold his tongue afterward.
When informed by reporters that he had only caught four passes for a mere 32 yards with no scores, Johnson erupted in the Bengals' locker room.
"Four? Four? That sucks," Johnson said. "You have your best player, and you can't even get that [expletive] the ball.
"No excuses, I didn't get the job done. When I complain, I'm selfish. Maybe I should retire like Tiki Barber. You tell me what the problem is."
Although Johnson surpassed Cris Collinsworth and Isaac Curtis to move into second place on the Bengals' career list with 419 career receptions, he was absolutely furious that he lost and didn't back up his bold statements.
"That's [expletive] ridiculous," Johnson fumed. "You've got to be [expletive] kidding me. When Christmas comes around, I might as well be a hood ornament because I've all I've been so far is a decoration, a decoration sitting out there all pretty, ready for people to jump on."
The Ravens definitely got the final word against Johnson, the self-described ‘Ocho-Cinco' for his No. 85 jersey number.
"We shut down one of the best receivers in the NFL in ‘Stinko Cinco, Cinco de Mayo,' whatever you want to call him," defensive end Terrell Suggs said.
It marked the Bengals' fourth loss in their past five games, dropping them to 4-4 overall and two games behind Baltimore (6-2) in the AFC North.
However, the Ravens' performance in snapping a three-game losing streak to their rivals didn't seem to impress Johnson or his irate teammate, receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Both players said the Bengals are the superior team despite the outcome.
"We're just a better team than they are," Houshmandzadeh proclaimed shortly after drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty late in the fourth quarter when he slammed his helmet to the ground after the Ravens weren't penalized by officials for pass interference on an incomplete pass. "We didn't win the game, and I'm sure they'll get a laugh over that. I know they beat us, but they just scored more points than we did.
"But deep down, we know we're better than Baltimore and they know it. We've got better players than they do."
The Ravens' players didn't learn immediately about the Bengals' postgame comments, but Bengals coach Marvin Lewis had a few choice words about Houshmandzadeh's lack of composure with his team trailing by just six points.
"It's bad, and we don't need those kind of penalties," Lewis said. "It shows a lack of class. Right at that point, we don't need it. Those things get you out of kilter."
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.
Ravens shut down Johnson, but can't silence
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