Chad Johnson has emerged in the past month as the Bengals' go-to receiver. He and quarterback Jon Kitna work especially well together.
Johnson is the one Bengals receiver with the speed and quickness to beat press coverage at the line, which forces the opposing free safety to pay attention to him. Johnson also is the Bengals' most dangerous deep threat.
Baltimore's free safety during its Super Bowl run was future Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, who's now with the Oakland Raiders.
The Ravens' free safety now is Will Demps, an undrafted rookie free agent from San Diego State. He and fellow rookie Ed Reed have switched spots, with Reed moving to strong safety.
After missing the first two games with a dislocated elbow, Demps has started the last five games. He has 40 tackles with one interception and five passes broken up. He has an uncanny ability to be around the ball. Baltimore coach Brian Billick raves about the play of Demps, another find by one of the NFL's best scouting departments.
In spite of their relative quick success as a rebuilt team (3-5), these aren't the Ravens of 1999-2001 - especially on defense. They are ranked 18th against the pass at 222.1 yards a game. So the opportunities will be there for Kitna and Johnson. Plus, Baltimore probably will be without its best cornerback, Chris McAlister, who sprained his ankle last week against the Atlanta Falcons.
In the four games since Kitna has returned as the Bengals' starting QB, Johnson has averaged 5.5 receptions and 67.5 yards a game.