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Linebackers, Carson Palmer and questionable timeout.

Reader Larry asked: "I went to the Oakland game, and watched the Indianapolis game carefully. What happened to Caleb Miller or Ahmad Brooks. Are they injured, in the doghouse, or what? Especially Caleb, I think he could have been useful last night instead of Simmons."

The Bengals defense played a pass coverage defense with Brian Simmons and Landon Johnson taking a majority of the snaps at linebacker. Caleb Miller played sparingly and Ahmad Brooks was deactivated because his coverage skills are pretty limited (being generous). Tory James, Johnathan Joseph and Deltha O'Neal were in on the same play a lot because there was an emphasis to play a third cornerback to help defend the pass. Yea, I know. A lot of good THAT did. There were times we played a third safety with Madieu Williams, Kevin Kaesviharn and Dexter Jackson. With the added personnel in the secondary, that removes a player or two from the linebacker crew. It was mostly Miller and the "missile" Rashad Jeanty that suffered from reduced playing time.

On another note.

Carson Palmer. If you were to design a player that leads on and off the field, you'd have Carson Palmer in mind. He never throws his players under the bus. He takes blame for losses and denies credit for wins. He doesn't care for publicity or media coverage. He lays into Chris Henry for his lack of professionalism on the field. He's the guy takes Chad Johnson to task if he runs the wrong route.

That's why I think it's honorable, but wrong, to take the blame for Cincinnati's loss Monday. Fact is, the defense couldn't stop the Colts offense. Fact is, Chris Henry and Chad Johnson had problems catching Palmer's passes because they had bricks for hands. Fact is, Andrew Whitworth couldn't stop Dwight Freeney -- three sacks. Fact is, the Bengals had a game plan that had most people scratching their heads. Fact is, everyone around Carson Palmer failed. Fact is, Palmer is the face of the organization for throwing his teammate's failures away and holding true to his role as the Bengals leader.

The timeout that changed a 21-yard completion into an incomplete.

After Carson Palmer completed a 21-yard pass to Chad Johnson on the fourth play of the game, Chad was slow to get up. Then the Bengals took a timeout. The general belief is that the Bengals took the timeout to let Chad recover. This was vital because it gave the Colts enough time to review and challenge the reception. The catch was overturned. Honestly, I don't know how. Chad had his hands underneath the pass and you saw no evidence of the ball touching the ground. But what do I know? On the next play, Freeney sacked Palmer causing a fumble. Colts ball and the route was on.

This drew a lot of negative reaction from Bengals fans questioning Chad's toughness -- justifiably so. With the exception of a few (like single-digits), receivers are not known to be tough. Geoff Hobson says it was Willie Anderson, not Chad Johnson, that needed the timeout because of injury.

Lewis is under the gun because the Bengals called a timeout following Chad Johnson’s 21-yard catch on the first series of the game that put the Bengals on the red zone doorstep. The belief is that the Colts would have never challenged the catch if play continued. It appeared the Bengals took the timeout because right tackle Willie Anderson limped off the field on his injured foot.

Mix and match LBs [Post]
2 Bengals Pro Bowl starters [Post]
Johnson, Palmer, Anderson make Pro Bowl roster [DDN]
2 Bengals to start Pro Bowl [Enquirer]
Bengals put ugly loss in past [Enquirer]
Palmer: Blame me for loss [Enquirer]
Notes: Chad cools it [Bengals.com]