Where's was Ocho? Not hurting Vikings

Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco provided an entertaining week leading up to the game, but he didn't do much entertaining – or producing – on the field. Vikings players reacted to him going quietly to the sideline after scoring Cincinnati's only touchdown.

Ragnar was smiling widely before Sunday's game in the tunnel leading to Mall of America Field. The Vikings mascot was waiting to ride onto the field on his customized motorcycle.

After a week of Chad Ochocinco talking about taking Ragnar's horn after scoring the touchdown, the receiver went quietly to the bench after scoring the Bengals' only touchdown of the game in a 30-10 Vikings win.

"Chad, he's a great player. You could tell there was a time and a place for everything," said cornerback Benny Sapp, whom Ochocinco classified as a friend last Wednesday. "When you watch Chad do his thing, he's been doing it for a while. I wasn't surprised at all. They were losing, they were down. Trying to come back against a good team, no reason to celebrate. He knows when to do it and when not to do it."

Ochocinco's score brought the Bengals within three points, 10-7, but that was as close as they would come to the Vikings the rest of the game.

Linebacker Ben Leber agreed with Sapp's assessment of why Ochocinco went quietly to the sideline.

"I would have been more surprised had he really celebrated. I don't think they were in a position to really celebrate. They weren't playing great," Leber said. "You take the situation and flip it and when we get a sack and it doesn't really matter, if you're down by a couple scores, you certainly don't celebrate. You just go about your business. I think that was the situation he felt they were in."

But one Vikings defender was anticipating the Ochocinco dramatics would go on display following his touchdown.

"I was kind of looking forward to seeing what he was really going to do," said defensive end Brian Robison, who registered the only Vikings sack of the game. "I think the whole crowd was looking for it and when nothing really happened it was like, ‘Well, not it's just a normal play.'"

The receiver gave credit to the Vikings defense, which held him to three catches for 27 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown.

"Oh man, awesome," he said when asked about the defense. "I can only speak from the secondary standpoint. Cedric Griffin, Antoine Winfield, and Madieu Williams did a hell of a job."

Before the game, Ragnar said he talked with Ochocinco and realized he just wants to have fun. Ragnar was more than willing to accommodate.

"It's all about fun, so we'll see who has more fun," Ragnar said before the game.

Turns out it was both Ragnar and the Vikings defense. The mascot doesn't normally carry a horn around his neck, but he made the exception for this game with the banter from Ochocinco during the week leading up to the game. He stopped his bike at midfield and again in the north end zone to stand on top of the cycle, hold out the horn and motion Ochocinco to come get it.

He never did, but Ragnar still signed it and gave it to Ochocinco following the game. Several Vikings players say they are amused by the receiver's talk.

"I think it's funny. You can tell the guy obviously plays the game to have fun and that's what he does," Robison said. "If he wants to spend his money on celebrations, that's up to him. It's kind of interesting to watch, but we don't really take anything anybody says out of context or anything like that."

Even former Vikings long snapper Mike Morris mentioned Ochocinco in a satellite feed from Basra, Iraq into the big screen at Mall of America Field, saying it wouldn't go down how Ochocinco wanted it to.

Turns out that Morris was right. Sapp said he wasn't surprised that his defense was able to hold the receiver to 27 yards.

"He's playing against us. I don't want him to get nothing. He got a touchdown. Kudos to him. That's what he does," Sapp said.

Ochocinco also talks a good game and came to midfield before the game to have some words with Sapp and Antoine Winfield. Sapp said he heard nothing special.

"Just ball out. Let's see what you've got today," Sapp said.

The Vikings obviously had more fun in one of their best defensive efforts against the pass.


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