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Third Pick-Six Ties Palmer With League Lead

Carson Palmer threw three interceptions on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts which makes 11 for the season and his third game in a row with at least one picked off pass. Only Drew Brees (12), Eli Manning (13) and Brett Favre (16) have more interceptions as starting quarterbacks and it ties Palmer with Chad Henne and Donovan McNabb

Even though Palmer doesn't lead starting quarterbacks in interceptions, he does share the lead with Drew Brees with the most interceptions returned for a touchdown so far this season with three. One of those pick-sixes was thrown against the Colts who beat the Bengals by six.

It was the third return for touchdown thrown by Palmer this season, tying him with Brees for most in the league, and his 13th since taking over as the starter in 2004. According to Elias Sports Bureau, only Favre, with 14, has more "pick sixes" in that span.

Palmer also had three "pick sixes" in 2004 and 2007.

If those three interceptions were taken away and their 21 points taken off the board, the Bengals would have won the Colts game, been within a touchdown of tying the Patriots and they would have beaten Tampa Bay by four points assuming that everything else in those three games would have been the same other than the interception returns. The Bengals would have had a record of 4-5 and they would not be eliminated from the playoffs.

While most of the responsibility will always rest on the quarterback's shoulders for an interception, wrong routes by wide receivers and a lack of good pass protection can be blamed as well. Still, Palmer, being the ultimate professional that he is, says he's the only one to blame.

"All three (interceptions), they're plays that are completely my fault," said Palmer after the game. "I need to do a better job of making sure I put the ball in our guys' hands."