When the Bengals play the Pittsburgh Steelers, there's always a secondary argument that emerges; which we didn't touch this week. Carson Palmer is the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback (just in case you're new here). Ben Roethlisberger is the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback (just in case you're new here). The question: Who is the better quarterback? I didn't see the necessity of bringing up the debate this week -- and neither did any of you -- until yesterday when Lance McAlister started going into a rant about Carson Palmer. What really peeved McAlister is that Palmer said that last year's season ending hit on Keith Rivers was "actually unfortunate for Hines to go through what he went through because he was just playing football." McAlister points out that while Rivers was sucking liquid food through a straw with a wired jaw for eight weeks, it seemed both odd and unfortunate that Palmer felt bad for the Steelers wide receiver that delivered the hit on Rivers. While being critical of Palmer, McAlister wasn't ripping into him in some sports talk hatred diatribe. In truth, I couldn't disagree with most of the things he said.
But can you imagine Boomer coming out and expressing sympathy for what Ward went through if one of Boomer's teammates had his jaw wired shut for eight weeks? When Carson's not finding sympathy for the Ward, he's contemplating a player dying on the field. Hey, that would inspire me to follow him as my leader! I know, I know...mountain out of mole hill. Really? How about just another piece in the Carson puzzle I just don't get. I'm tired of Carson being handled with kid gloves in this town. This franchise and city needs more from Carson.
McAlister went on to make the Roethlisberger versus Palmer comparison, saying:
If we are choosing sides in the backyard today, you take Carson. I'll take Ben. I'll beat you. I'm tired of excuses being made for Carson. It's the OL...it's the running game...blah, blah, blah. Anyone check out how many times Ben has been sacked last last three years? 139 times (46,47,46). Most in the NFL. How is Ben's running game working out? How do Ben's WR's compare to Carson's? Ben is a leader. Ben can create. Ben can extend. Ben is clutch. All things I need to see from Carson.
Still, McAlister, like most of us, have a better feeling about this Bengals squad heading into the game against Pittsburgh than we have since 2006. He even predicts a win. But the question is, do you believe McAlister is right in his assessment? Or do you believe he is making a mountain out of a foot hill?