Originally Posted by SeeinRed
Do you think they even had a thought of losing Palmer during that game?
No matter how prepared you make yourself by planning with the 2nd QB like they were going to start, you just can't prepare enough as far as planning goes. Palmer and Kitna were 2 different types of QBs, so you team has to plan around which ever one is going to start.
If they didn't anticipate the possible loss of Palmer at any point in time, then the Bengals came into that game with a poorly constructed roster or game plan. Every NFL team needs to enter every game knowing that any one player can be lost. Every one. The Bengals had one of the best backup QB's in the league (a guy who's currently a starter in Detroit). Roster construction was not a problem in that regard. If they weren't prepared for Plan B if Plan A went awry, then we're looking at a coaching issue because there's a game plan deficiency. Sure the team has to adjust, but such an adjustment has to be anticipated by the coaching staff.
And it's not like the Bengals had simply dominated the Steelers in 2005 with Carson Palmer at the helm. They were 1-1 versus Pittsburgh coming into the playoffs. They had been outscored in those two meetings by a touchdown. The loss of Palmer was unfortunate, but not something the Bengals couldn't overcome.
Having said that, don't think for a second that the Steelers will be hurting for too long. They can get a running back that will run enough to free up Ben. He has shown the ability to beat teams with his arm. I very much doubt that any Steelers fans will be complaining about the injury come the playoffs. And I am a Bengals fan.
I appreciate those kind words. And here's why I think the smart Steelers' fans won't be complaining about Parker's injury should they make the playoffs.
I have a feeling that a lot of folks overrate Willie Parker. He's a player who grabs a huge chunk of yards on decent-to-big gainers after producing 1 to 2 yard Runs on early downs. His nickname has been "Fast Willie", but at times he's almost "Untenable Willie". The guy puts the Steelers in a lot of 2nd and 3rd-and-longs. Don't get me wrong, I like "explosive", but I've grown somewhat tired of seeing nearly-broken runs turn into 2 (or fewer) yard gains because Parker can't cut most of the time without slipping over yard lines.
He has his uses, but he isn't the kind of horse I'd be giving 300+ carries to. Pittsburgh did that this year and last and I'd suggest that doing so has been in error. He's the ying to a power back's yang in one configuration or another and the results have been both fun (the 2nd half SB run) and frustrating (every time he's stopped for a loss, which is many).
Through the rest of the regular season, and possibly whatever playoff games they see, the Steelers' success or failure will depend on the performance of their pass blocking and pass rush. Neither has been up to any reasonable standard. And I expect that'll cost them at some point.