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).
Steel, I love ya, but the point Bengal's fans are making is that they stood a better chance with Palmer in there and not a very good one with Kitna.
If you just plug Kitna in and rely on your coaching staff, why even draft Palmer?
While Palmer was 1-1 against Pittsburgh, Kitna could just as easily have been 0-2.
If you think it's the coaching rather than the players, then why do Marvin Lewis' defenses suddenly suck?
You win with the talent on the field, and the Bengals had a lot less of it that day with Kitna back there.
Saying Kitna starts for the Lions isn't adding or taking away from your argument, really. He may be starting, but I think that says more about the lack of quality quarterbacks than it does about Kitna's talent. He is still an interception machine.
Maybe the Pats should bench Brady this weekend and play the backup since it's just a matter of coaching plans.
Your assessment of the Steelers was terrific- my only point is that they appear to be sporadically expolsive, which can be dangerous in the playoffs. How they do it I have no idea, but they have been putting up some points.
And the pass rush you worry about is better with Polamalu on the field- oh, that's right people getting hurt doesn't really affect things.