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Parcells Has It His Way--on Ground

September 29, 1997|From Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Adrian Murrell ran over the Cincinnati Bengals, ran around them and, ultimately, ran them into the ground.

Murrell matched a team record with 40 carries Sunday, picking up 156 yards as the New York Jets ground out a 31-14 victory that left Bill Parcells--he of the grind-it-out offensive philosophy--smiling afterward.

"I'm pleased," the hard-to-please Parcells said. "I thought we did a pretty good job today. I think our running game won it. Even I was a little surprised with as well as we ran the ball."

Murrell, who matched Johnny Hector's record of 40 carries in a 1986 game against New England, said, "I feel all right now. Ask me [again] tomorrow."

The Jets, 3-2 for the first time since 1988, ran wherever they wanted--up the middle, around the end. They also got one timely completion after another from Neil O'Donnell, who has changed teams but not lost his knack for beating the Bengals (1-3).

O'Donnell, who was 8-1 against Cincinnati as a Pittsburgh Steeler, threw three touchdown passes and completed 20 of 34 for 212 yards. He has thrown 20 touchdown passes against the Bengals, his highest total against any team.

"I don't play any different in Cincinnati," O'Donnell said, overlooking statistics that say he does. "I've had good games against other teams."

The Bengals lost for the first time in seven home games under Bruce Coslet, who was fired by the Jets after the 1993 season. Jeff Blake, waived by the Jets three years ago, completed 10 of 21 for 166 yards and was intercepted by Ray Mickens--his third of the season.

The Bengals, who have the second-worst run defense in the NFL and had allowed Denver's Terrell Davis to rush for 215 yard a week earlier, set their defense to stop the run.

Time and time again, it failed.

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