Not as simple as going from a coin-flip to virtually no chance to win the game, but let's see.Originally Posted by dsmith421
Ok. That's accurate.* The Bengals lost their best player, emotional leader, and on-field captain on the second play of the game.
They responded with skill as well. Probably have served them better to continue to rely on skill rather than heart and guts, because listening to you guys they have neither of the latter.* They responded with a rush of emotion and anger, which allowed them to close out the first half well.
AFC North Champion Cincinnati Bengals have no mental toughness. Well, if that's how it is, they started off that game with far less of a chance to win it than I thought.* But, that superhuman effort, coupled with the psychological trauma of seeing Palmer immobilized at halftime, wore the team out mentally.
Yeah. I bet it was very traumatizing to go into the locker room at halftime up by three in their first playoff game in a google years. At that point a professional squad should have had all the confidence in the world instead of allegedly falling apart.
Pittsburgh's defense has been beaten by worse quarterbacks than John Kitna.* Pittsburgh made some easy adjustments on defense to capitalize on Kitna's lack of arm strength and indecisiveness.
Tired defense? Cincinnati dominated the time of possession through the first 28 Pittsburgh points. Pittsburgh had exactly one scoring drive of over three minutes that whole ballgame. They stunk, but that defense was fresh.* Tired defense + ineffective offense = loss.
Jon Kitna produced a QB rating of 87.4 two years ago when he was the starter for the Bengals. He lost that job, but it had nothing to do with Jon Kitna's performance. Yet now he's being railed on as "below average".I don't see anything about being a playoff neophyte, or not being able to handle the Steelers' intensity. That's bullcrap. All season Palmer and the offense were the only saving grace for a horrible defense--they kept the ball moving and kept the team off the field. Without him, you have a below average QB in Kitna who lacks the skill set to do what the Bengals did best all year.
And, BTW, what the Bengals did best offensively all season was to throw short passes to their receivers with an effective mix of running. They didn't simply bomb their way up and down the field. That 2nd-play deep ball by Palmer was 10% of his 40+ yard tosses for the season.
Well, there's a big difference between 55% and 10%. Smaller difference between 20% and 45%. I'd be a lot more apt to agree with the latter than the former but it appears now that the no-guts, no-heart, traumatized Bengals probably had about a 30% chance of winning that game coming in. I'll continue to adjust that percentage as the excuses continue to pile up.I'm not saying that absent Palmer's injury, the Bengals win. Far from it. But his injury took Cincy from probably a 45-55% shot at that game to a 10-20% chance. No one can deny that.
Polamalu didn't take a swing at Braham. He shoved the ball at his helmet. Stupid. It was a dumb to do. Polamalu consistently does dumb things and as a Steelers fan, it ticks me off. But that wasn't a punch. Porter is also a hothead. He makes me grumpy as well. I'd be able to look the other way more often if his play actually backed his mouth up but that happened in about two games this season.As it stands, I don't know if von Oelhoffen laid a cheap shot on Palmer. I do, however, know that Polamalu took a swing at Rich Braham, I do know that several DBs assualted Houshmandzadeh in the end zone, I do know that Porter was hitting guys late all day. I also remember well Ward and Porter intimating retaliation after Thurman was tripped into Roethlisberger's knee two months ago. So you'll pardon me if I don't give Cowher and his "men" the benefit of the doubt here.
Carter and Hope didn't "assault" Housh in the end zone. Hope was actually the more aggressive of the two (the dumb step-over thing), and Carter (who, again, doesn't even play enough to talk). But there was no chance that Housh was going to get hurt on that play unless he'd have run himself into the goal post.
Football is a physical game with macho guys who sometimes try to intimidate each other while on the field in an effort to put the other guy off his game. Players jaw at each other constantly on the field and shove and push and act like they're bigger and tougher and meaner than the other guy. Big deal.
And I never heard anything about Porter and/or Ward going on about "retribution". In any case, any conspiracy theory falls flat on it's keester considering that it projects a high-character former Bengal who's had multiple knee injuries as the weapon of choice. Good god.
Or maybe instead they could just play better defensively?In the final analysis, it doesn't matter what I or any fans think. But I hope sincerely that Palmer, and Willie, and Odell, and every other Bengal's heart of hearts they think Pittsburgh did it on purpose. Because that will focus them toward the job at hand next season.
I dunno. Just a suggestion.