Cincinnati must utilize Johnson

The Bengals' overreliance on Carson Palmer took its toll down the stretch and may cost them in the playoffs.

Updated: May 24, 2007, 11:36 AM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
I wrote a column about the Cincinnati Bengals' offense just prior to their bye week in November. The premise was that Carson Palmer was making bad decisions at an alarming rate and that Cincinnati's playoff chances could be riding on whether Palmer could correct the problem.

Since then, the Bengals, who had a 7-2 record at the time, have lost four of seven games. One of their victories was a 23-20 win against the mediocre Cleveland Browns. One of the losses was a meaningless game against the Chiefs last week, but another loss was to the lowly Bills in a game the Bengals needed to keep their hopes of a first-round playoff bye.

The bad news for Cincinnati is that Palmer's performance over this six-game stretch (not including the Chiefs' game) was largely responsible for their struggles. Palmer threw six interceptions in these six games, after throwing only four interceptions in the first nine.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

ALSO SEE