OWINGS MILLS, Md. (Nov. 1, 2006) -- Chad Johnson issued a friendly warning to Ray Lewis, joking that when he faces the Baltimore Ravens linebacker he will "hit him in the mouth."
Johnson has 36 catches and two touchdowns for the Cincinnati Bengals, who need a victory in Baltimore to avoid falling two games behind the first-place Ravens in the AFC North.
Cincinnati swept the Ravens last year with the aid of Johnson's 10 receptions for 179 yards and a touchdown against cornerbacks Samari Rolle and Chris McAlister.
Before each game, Johnson says he makes a list of players he plans to beat.
"Chris and Samari have made the list before and haven't been able to do the job," Johnson said. "So, I'm going to go ahead and move up in the ranks."
Johnson settled on Lewis, a seven-time Pro Bowler, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and captain of the defense.
"Yeah, I put Ray on the list," Johnson said. "The agenda? Hit him in the mouth."
Lewis laughed when told of Johnson's assertion.
"For me to take that personal, it's like one of my kids saying, 'Daddy, I can beat you fighting,"' Lewis said. "I talk to Chad at least three or four times a week. It's football. If you don't have fun with this game, who will?"
The golden Mohawk that graced Johnson's head since training camp was gone Nov. 1, replaced by the bald look he has sported most of his career.
Johnson made a bet with Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall heading into their matchup last week at Paul Brown Stadium. If the Falcons lost, Hall would have to work at an Atlanta restaurant owned by Bengals tackle Willie Anderson.
If the Bengals lost, Johnson would lose the Mohawk.
"The individual battle was fun between him and I, but in the team battle, we didn't come out on top," said Johnson, who had six catches and a touchdown in the Falcons' 29-27 win. "And I did say I would cut it. So, I had to be a man of my word and let it go.
"The 'hawk is gone. I'm back to somewhat normal."