Earl Campbell ran for 182 yards and a touchdown and Carl Roaches returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown today to carry the Houston Oilers to a 17-10 victory as the Cincinnati Bengals lost sole possession of the AFC Central lead.
Both teams are 3-2.
Campbell, who had not gained 100 yards since the season opener against Los Angeles, took advantage of the Oilers' return to a simplified offense. By halftime, he had gained 140 yards on 25 carries, surpassing his 122 yards on 27 carries against the Rams. In the second half, Campbell did not see much action until late in the third quarter because the Bengals controlled the ball.
Campbell finished with 37 carries and accounted for the bulk of Houston's 191 yards on the ground.
The Bengals led, 10-7, in the third quarter, when the 5-foot-8, 166-pound Roaches ran to his right and down the sidelines and eluded defender Mike Fuller at the 10-yard line to score his first pro touchdown.
Roaches, who returns kickoffs and punts, and fellow return-man Willie Tullis teamed to give Houston excellent field position all day. They ran two kickoffs back for an average of 59 yards a return, and Roaches averaged 23 yards on four punt returns.
The game marked Houston's return to the I-formation offense, which first-year Coach Ed Biles had dropped in the first four games in favor of a more diversified offense.