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I wonder... response on team criticism

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I wonder...

  • ...if I'm the only one that thinks injury and the Henry suspension is a primary reason this offense is struggling. Not Palmer thinking about his knee or shotty play-calling (although, admittedly that's harder to defend). Am I the only one that's routinely heard, yet not forgotten, the incredible amount of double coverage by the opposing defense on our two only playmakers? Am I the only one figuring this offense will be fine once we hit the next round of division games? Stinks we lost, but should we honestly expect more from a patch-work defense and an offensive line that's degrading from injury?
  • ...why I can't say the refs cost us the game. Why not? They did call roughing the passer on Justin Smith that negated a fumble and change of possession. That call enabled Tampa Bay to hold onto the ball and score the winning touchdown. So yes, in a way, the refs DID cost the Bengals the game.
  • ...why I should blame Marvin Lewis for clock management. His approach are being criticized for not taking timeouts while Tampa had the ball at the closing seconds of the game. Forcing a rookie Quarterback to run a two minutes drive with the game on the line against a defense known for interceptions and turnovers is a sound thought, in my opinion. And it's not like we haven't scored before with minimal time and a full compliment of timeouts -- all we needed was a field goal. With :30 left in the game and three time outs, Palmer quickly passed a 19 yard pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh -- timeout #1. That's :22 with two timeouts left and we're already at mid-field. Again, we don't need a touchdown -- just a field goal. Then Palmer throws an incomplete making it second down and 10, with :18 left. Palmer gets sacked -- timeout #2 with :13 left in the game. I know the simple minded would like to blame Marvin for not using timeouts earlier. But look, Marvin wanted the rookie QB to beat the Bengals defense (which he did) and felt the Bengals had plenty of time (which they did). It wasn't until the poor offensive ending and the defense allowing a touchdown that produced the criticism.