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Criticism for Bengals playcall is misplaced

Pick on Carson Palmer’s throw or Terrell Owens’ penalty.  Complain that the Bengals offense looks as disjointed in Week Five as it did in Week One. Criticize the Bengals defense for allowing Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman to complete 5-of-6 passes for 71 yards in his final two drives.

But blaming the Bengals loss on Sunday on Marvin Lewis because the Bengals threw the ball on third-and-13 leading by 7 points with 2:28 remaining is insane.

I wanted to be aggressive. I put us in that situation, but I think
we’ve got to play football that way. You can’t play scared,” Lewis said after the game.

We completely agree.  If Palmer can’t be trusted to not throw an interception there, then the Bengals should cut him.  He’s making $10.5 million this year.  As Herm Edwards would say, you play to win the game.  That means throwing the ball on third-and-13 when a conversion sets you up for a game-winning first down.  It’s on Palmer, not a playcall.

Palmer needs to make better decisions and improve his accuracy. He needs to play like a veteran. Lewis needs to rally his team after a devastating loss.  Lewis doesn’t need to change his approach, or he may as well give up on this season.

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33 Responses to “Criticism for Bengals playcall is misplaced”
  1. KingJoe! says: Oct 11, 2010 10:28 AM

    Palmer is the most over-rated qb in the last 10yrs.

  2. Dizzy Dog says: Oct 11, 2010 10:28 AM

    Gregg, I am a Bucs fan and I think Marvin screwed up! The Bucs had NO timeouts. Run the ball…..take it to the 2 minute warning. Punt and at worst, Bucs have to go 80 yards in 2 minutes with no timeouts. I would “play them odds!” You say “TRUST” Carson after the last 4 performances???? HA!!!
    Glad the Bucs won, but I would seriously question the play call if I were a Bengals fan!

  3. BengalsDouche2 says: Oct 11, 2010 10:28 AM

    I think Marvin is also covering up for his dumbass Offensive Coordinator. The guy is horrible and should have been gone years ago. Bratkowski has to be one of the worst OC’s in the league.

  4. Fantasia says: Oct 11, 2010 10:29 AM

    First of all, they had a running back that ran for almost 150 yards. The Bengals running game was destroying the Bucs defense. With that going for you, why risk a pass at that point in the game?
    Second, Palmer can’t be trusted. He’s not that good.
    I think you might be the insane one, Gregg.

  5. NoLockout2011 says: Oct 11, 2010 10:30 AM

    Agreed. It was the right call. The ball bounces funny and it just happened to bounce the wrong way this time. Marvin catches a lot of heat that he shouldn’t in Cincy.

  6. gatorclaws says: Oct 11, 2010 10:31 AM

    They weren’t going for the game winning field goal. They were up by 7 and were running out the clock.

  7. gazretired says: Oct 11, 2010 10:34 AM

    Palmer has been given a free pass for way too long. As a No. 1 selection, he has been an underachiever near the head of the class.

  8. crazyguy says: Oct 11, 2010 10:35 AM

    If Freeman was consistent he would be scary.

  9. 1trackm1nd says: Oct 11, 2010 10:35 AM

    Damn right the play calling is misplaced… How do you have a weapon like Ocho Cinco and never look his way. This could be such a potent offense with all their weapons, yet Palmer can’t seem to hit them.

  10. theroc5156 says: Oct 11, 2010 10:38 AM

    As a lifelong Bengals fan, I have come to the conclusion that Palmer is just not that good. The play in question shows that Bucs DB Aquib Talib was all over Owens. Palmer thought he could thread the needle and I guess he did. However, Talib outfought Owens for that ball. If you look at the play again, you’ll see a wide open Jermaine Gresham underneath. He could have very well ran for the first down had Palmer thrown it to him.
    Hindsight is 20/20, but I think Palmer thinks he’s better than he is. I also think he’s forcing the ball to TO and Ocho too much. Plus, Cedric Benson was a beast yesterday. They should have ran him more later in the game.
    I don’t blame the last interception on him. That was Chad’s fault. Hit hin in the hands and bounced to the safety. He catches that, game over.
    The defense also let the team down. No way should they have let the Bucs move the ball like they did. The Bengals have a lot of work to do during the bye week. Hopefully, they don’t screw that up too.

  11. chgolaw says: Oct 11, 2010 10:38 AM

    Bull. Now he is aggressive? After complaining for weeks that he was not running enough and with TB having no timeouts and the Bengals’ punter having already had 3 punts more than 50 yards, now he tries a long pass? How about a slant for 8 yards and see if TO could break one. NHow about a long pass to Chad? But a 15 yard pass in double coverage in the middle of the field was insane.
    BTW, I believe they would sit down Carson if they had someone better as his backup other than his brother.

  12. Fantasia says: Oct 11, 2010 10:42 AM

    Good point made about the no time outs the Bucs had. The Bengals run the ball on third down. If they don’t get the first down you still take the clock down to the two-minute warning. You punt and most likely send the Bucs back deep into their own end. They now have under 2 minutes to score a touchdown with no time outs left.
    But, the Bucs made the most of their opportunities and deserved to win this game.

  13. WhoDeySood5 says: Oct 11, 2010 10:43 AM

    funny thing is, Marvin NEVER plays that way, in the past he would’ve punted that 10/10 times….OC Bratkowski MUST GET FIRED. too bad all us Bengal fans know he’s buddy buddy w/Mike Brown and is a “yes man” so he’s never going to catch heat for his week to week, year to year incompetency….oh and Palmer needs to wake the F*ck up, that pick 6 was worse than a rookie mistake

  14. BigMacAttack says: Oct 11, 2010 11:02 AM

    Dizzy Dog says: October 11, 2010 10:28 AM
    Gregg, I am a Bucs fan and I think Marvin screwed up! The Bucs had NO timeouts. Run the ball…..take it to the 2 minute warning. Punt and at worst, Bucs have to go 80 yards in 2 minutes with no timeouts. I would “play them odds!” You say “TRUST” Carson after the last 4 performances???? HA!!!
    ____________________________________
    I totally agree. Bucs Fan too. Watching the game, we all stood up and said “What the hell is he doing???” just like in the movie “Rudy”. I am so happy for idiots like Lewis or his OC, that give away games. The Bucs tried every way they could to lose this game, but Lewis was bound and determined to give them the win. Worst play call I’ve seen since Sean Payton tried a stunt against the Bucs 2 years ago, and lost that game too…to Luke McCown. No really, Luke McCown. Lewis’ days are numbered.

  15. GregO says: Oct 11, 2010 11:02 AM

    Are you talking about the pass that hit Ochocinco in the hands?

  16. Direwolf says: Oct 11, 2010 11:05 AM

    2 int’s in the final 2:30 of a game you were leading by 7 while averaging 6.3 yards per rush. There is just no way to sugar coat that. That is a spectacular combination of terrible decision making and awful quarterbacking. Not to mention a choke job by the defense, having stymied the mighty bucs for the first 58 minutes of the game.
    Get used to it NFL, almost every team the Bucs play ends up in disarray!! Breesus is sweatin’

  17. HamBurghlar says: Oct 11, 2010 11:06 AM

    Carson Palmer has been mediocre for years, if the Bengals and their fans think they’re going to win with him at the helm, you got another thing coming.. You can bring in whatever offensive weapons you want, but if your QB can’t do it, you’re not going anywhere.
    You talk trash on Roflsberger, but you’d take him in a heartbeat because he’s a proven winner..

  18. SkiHa says: Oct 11, 2010 11:08 AM

    Well this a first for me on PFT. I am 100% a Bengals fan, and I agree with Gregg. The play call was questionable; however, a QB cannot throw picks at that point in a game. The D played good as ussual, it’s not their fault Carson put them in bad situations. It’s time to make a change- trade him now or cut him after the season.
    Orton for Palmer

  19. HornedHelmet says: Oct 11, 2010 11:11 AM

    Palmer is a joke. He’s the worst QB in the AFC North by far. Seneca freakin’ Wallace beat the Bungles. The only thing worse than that garbage QB Palmer is the pathetic bungle fans who support such a garbage passer. The guy isn’t even UFL quality. He would start on the Bills, Cards and Panthers. That’s how garbage of a QB he is.

  20. BroncosFan says: Oct 11, 2010 11:26 AM

    Agree. 2 minutes is plenty of time even for the Bucs, and whenever you have the choice between A) a play that will win the game outright, B) A play that will slightly advantage you without wrapping anything up, you’ve gotta go with A. The fact that there is even a debate when coaches like Schottenheimer have gotten fired over the passive strategy shows that you just can’t win sometimes with the fans and media.

  21. b-rad says: Oct 11, 2010 11:27 AM

    Gregg, you’re an idiot. If you had seen any of Carson Palmer’s film from this year, you would know he can’t be trusted in that situation. Coaches are paid to put their team in the best situation to win the game. The Ravens won a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer partly because they didn’t ask him to do too much. It was a no-brainer to run the ball, keep the clock moving, and punt if you don’t get the 1st down. The problem is that Lewis (or whomever called that play) has no brain. After reading this post I’m starting to think you do not either.

  22. kraftykid says: Oct 11, 2010 11:35 AM

    These comments can’t be coming from people who actually watched the game. I live in Tampa and am not really a gan of either team, but happened to watch the game.
    I can’t speak to Palmers season as this is the only game I’ve seen him in, but by my count he made a total of two bad throws which would have gone for shorts gains. I do agree the pick for TD early was a stupid pass.
    By contrast he hit several receivers (caldwell, TO, Ochocinco) right in the hands and they dropped easy first downs. Add TO’s unnecessary Off Pass Int and those guys were killing him.
    He actually had some very solid throws and the pass in question was the result of TO not coming back and fighting for the ball.
    Anyone who had watched the game, was wondering just like me, why not run it as they were stomping the Bucs D. get a few yards and make them go the length of the field. 3 and 11 is not a high percentage win for any offense and I think there is a difference between being agressive and foolish.
    Also criticism of the Bengals Defense is also silly. they were all over Freeman and tackling great. the final drive had a bs completion and as a game they played well.

  23. The_One_Brent says: Oct 11, 2010 11:36 AM

    Im from Cincy and agree with all of the above. Carson isnt for some reason or the other the Carson he use to be. But play calling is horrible Brian Billick who announced the game called the plays before they ran them because they are predictable. If an ex coach who isnt watching a ton of tape can do that what do you think a real head coach can do.

  24. Starvin Marvin says: Oct 11, 2010 12:53 PM

    The key is in the last line of the story. Lewis has given up on the season. He’s in the last year of his contract and there’s no indication that the Brown family wants him back. He’s saddled with an OC he never hired, left over from the previous staff. He wants certain non-monetary concessions the Brown family will never allow. He’s forced to play with players who, on his own, would never have signed. Who’d want to work under conditions like those? Why go to the mat to win when you know come early January you can walk away to start rebuilding your credibility elsewhere?

  25. Real Football Fan says: Oct 11, 2010 12:54 PM

    When are thos pundit apologists finally going to mention the elephant in the room, Carson Palmer is the problem and has been for some time. I don’t know if it’s from the knee injury in the ’06 playoffs, but he’s never been the same and seriously the Bengals need to prepare to move on at this point. He’s had one good pro season and one other okay season. Otherwise,
    he’s trending down toward the underachiever he was at USC before Norm Chow came to Los Angeles. Maybe if Boomer Esiason wasn’t so intent on swiping at Chad Johnson every chance he gets, he could draw the comparisons to his own career, which started off so promising and flamed out in a similar fashion. Also, Marvin Lewis has definitely worn out his welcome there. He’s done a good job in an impossible situation, so he’ll be fine when he moves on to his next job.

  26. BengalsDouche2 says: Oct 11, 2010 1:01 PM

    Yeah Billick definitely called that last interception by Carson. He had to have been shaking his head after that was thrown. Just plain ignorance. But of course, Brown will do nothing to shake things up. He’ll continue on with this staff until the season over when Marvin leaves this hole of a sports town. That’ll be the best move he has ever made in his career. Anyone who accepts a job with Mike Brown is ignorant beyond belief. The guy is an idiot.

  27. blester01 says: Oct 11, 2010 2:58 PM

    Rosenthal you are a moron b/c you are missing the big picture. You are correct that it is not right to attack Brat just b/c he called a pass play. However, that is not the point.
    With 3 mins left in the game, Bengals have the ball on their 41 yardline. They are sixty yards away from putting the game away.
    So Brat wants to be “aggressive”, and he calls:
    1st down: Benson up the middle – no gain
    2nd & 10 (2:37): Benson left tackle – 2 yard gain
    3rd & 8 (2:28): Penalty – false start
    3rd & 13 (2:28): Palmer’s pass to TO is off target – INT. Tampa’s ball at the 50 with 2:18 left to play.
    My point is this: we tried to run out the clock and we weren’t able to move the ball. Give up on the idea that we were averaging over 6 yards a carry for the game. On first & second down, TB had 8 in the box; they knew we were going to try to run.
    The reason is that Brat is inept and should be fired immediately is that if you want to be aggressive and attack the defense, then do it when they aren’t expecting it. Call a play action pass on first or second down to take advantage of the one-on-one coverage and run focused defense, instead of running at a wall that we can’t break through for two straight downs.
    It was then stupid to throw on third down when the Bucs were expecting it and had their nickel and dime package on the field. In this case, do the always unsuccessful draw play and punt the ball to make the Bucs drive 80+ yards with less than 2 minutes left.
    Keep in mind, we all were calling for Brats head, when he played it conservative against the Ravens and gave the ball back to them after three consecutive 3 & outs in the final five minutes after calling inept running & passing plays. Luckily we pulled that one out.
    The guy is a fool. TO was dead right in his interview with Michael Irvin. FIRE BRATKOWSKI!

  28. Voyager6 says: Oct 11, 2010 3:33 PM

    1) By passing on 3rd and 13, Marving was saying he didn’t trust his defense.
    2) It was a major momentum changer. It put the D into a panic mode and the Bengals D tends to try too hard and do more than what each player is capable of, leading to a tendency to give up big plays.
    3) Jim Tressel (Ohio State coach) would have iced this game with running the ball.
    4) I have said before Marvin is a stubborn fool. He came out with a gameplan to pass the ball in a torrential downpour in Carolina, and did so again yesterday, because he probably has orders from above to make Carson look good, after the criticism Carson has taken in recent weeks. When the running game took a life of its own, he should have been flexible enough to milk it for all it is worth. He did that last year, why can’t he do it again?

  29. WC2624 says: Oct 11, 2010 6:04 PM

    Rosenthal isn’t any brighter than Florio.
    The correct call was to run it with Benson who, even if he doesn’t pick up the first down, would allow the Bengals to punt the ball and most likely pin the Bucs deep and force them to go the length of the field in addition to not stopping the clock.
    It was simply stupid.

  30. if yer not first... says: Oct 11, 2010 11:02 PM

    Okay fine – I’ll bite.
    How ’bout this? I won’t complain about the pass but I WILL complain about the 2 up the middle plays prior, okay?
    So, I’m supposed to believe Marv finally got balls on 3rd down? give me a break.

  31. Bransman says: Oct 12, 2010 8:22 PM

    Gregg, you obviously know nothing about Cincinnati football. I now have to question whether you know anything about NFL in general. It is simple…. when a very talented team plays BELOW their talent level.. the coaches are not affective. When they play AT their talent level the coaches are good. When you can get a team to play ABOVE their talent level…the coaches are elite. The Bengals are full of talent. The head coach and the offensive coordinator (whom Cincinnati fans know all too well) are awful. They have been for years. The team has NEVER played at their talent level. Marvin is and always will be a DC at best. He is not a head coach. Brat is not even good enough to call ANY plays. With a great running game he will line the team up in the shotgun on 3rd and 1 all day long. Its unbelievable! If they blow out Marvin and Brat and let Zim take over the team for the rest of the year you would see this team rally and win 9-10 games. The team is extremely talented. Oh, as for Carson, all you have to do is look back to 07 and 08 to see if he has talent. He was once considered a top 5 QB in this league. Its still there. Its going to take a great coach to get it out of him. Your aritcle was horrible and so off base you should print a retraction. Either that or learn this game and then write articles.

  32. HandsofSweed says: Oct 12, 2010 9:51 PM

    Bransman:
    Until the horrible, painful truth sets in for you….
    Maybe the Bengals just aren’t as talented as you seem to think.
    But Mike Brown is a serious problem for you guys. Hence the reason why the Bengals aren’t as talented as you think they are.

  33. YeahYeah says: Oct 13, 2010 2:13 PM

    Bonehead crybabies..If Chad makes the catch it’s game over, but it bounced of his hands. it’s NOT on Palmer, NOT on Marvin and NOT on Brat.. Chad blew it so get over it. The D should have stopped the Bucs, but you want to blame the same old people every time no matter how they lose or win for that matter.

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