Quote Originally Posted by Dom Heffner View Post
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.
Sorry, dom. I probably sounded a lot more "black and white" than I meant to. While I agree that positional downgrades due to injury do affect outcomes, I'm also not a believer that losing one guy is going to necessarily win or lose a specific game. And if your chances of winning go from fantastic to "into the toilet" if one guy is lost for a game, then I do consider that a roster or game plan issue.

We'll obviously never know what would have happened had Palmer not gone down on that fateful day two years ago. We don't know if we'd have seen the Carson Palmer from December 4th of 2005 (3 TD/0 INT, 101.5 Passer Rating vs. Pitt) or the guy who played on October 16th (0 TD/2 INT, 53.8 PR). I just think that too often we, as fans, rush to assume the former while discounting the latter possibility.

A guy like Roethisberger is a case in point. While I would have preferred to have a completely healthy Big Ben last season, the Steelers didn't finish 8-8 solely because Ben was coming back from a couple major issues. And the Bengals aren't missing the playoffs for the second year in a row due to the lack of a healthy Carson Palmer.

As for the Bengals' defense? Well, it didn't just start to suck. The Bengals have been in the bottom quarter of the NFL for the past three years.

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.
They are sporadically explosive offensively. Good term. A lot of that has to do with Ben's ability to stretch out plays (see, I do think players matter) in order to allow receivers to separate, but also the maturization of Santonio Holmes, and more of a focus on distributing the ball to Heath Miller (and other TE) in the passing game. Add in the fact that Roethlisberger is maturing as well (he throws the ball away when necessary a LOT more often now) and you have many factors. That being said, if the Steelers haven't adequately prepared themselves for Ben going down- especially knowing that being sacked nearly 50 times allows a pretty good chance of that happening- then they're stupid.

However, the pass rush is bad regardless of the presence of Polamalu. In Pittsburgh's scheme, the LB's are supposed to generate the rush, with an occasional corner blitz. Polamalu is sent from time to time, but the lack of pressure from the LB corps has posted a return of exactly 0 Sacks from Troy this season. James Harrison has stepped up this season and James Farrior is his usual dependable self, but Clark Haggans and Larry Foote appear to have regressed. Harrison, at times, is the only rusher who'll draw a double-team from the offense. Don't even get me started on the offensive line.