Where should the blame lie for the 2-3 Bengals?

A 24-21 home loss to a Tampa Bay team who was beaten at home by the Steelers by 25 points should finally shine a light on one already known fact.

The Bengals are in deep trouble.

Sure it’s only five games into the season, but for the Bengals, a loss at home to a team they should beat with ease should set off signals that things need to change. And in a hurry.

The blame should start with Marvin Lewis, who shouldered the blame for going for a pass play on third down after Tampa Bay tied the game at 21 after a prior Carson Palmer pick.

“We didn’t do things exactly right and we look no further than the end of our noses at what we’re doing wrong,” Lewis said.

Then there’s Palmer, who has been as bad as one can remember, throwing three picks Sunday, one of which was a pick six that got the Bucs back in the game.

The other two picks led directly to 10 Tampa Bay points. That means of the Bucs 24 points, 17 were the result of Palmer turnovers.

“He (Cody Grimm, who had the pick six) guessed and ran to the route that we were running. Looking back now, I shouldn’t have thrown it,” Palmer said.

The Bengals offense had not run the ball well, and Sunday that department finally showed up. Cedric Benson rushed for 144 yards, so Palmer can’t use the lack of a run game as an excuse.

The bottom line, this team is in deep trouble. While a loss can sometimes refocus you, that loss should have been last week in Cleveland. Instead, they allowed what happened last week to haunt them this week, and worse – at home.

“We have to drop the egos and get back to work. Bring your shovel and go to work. Quit worrying about who you are,” Lewis said.

Who the Bengals are as they wake up today is a team in deep trouble. They had better go back to square one, because what they are doing right now simply isn’t working.

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