Kitna crucial to Cincinnati revival

The Bengals have won three of their last four games, and the main reason is the play of Jon Kitna.

Updated: October 28, 2003, 3:34 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
Prior to April's draft, several players tried to convince the Cincinnati Bengals brass that they didn't need to select Carson Palmer with the No.1 overall pick in the draft. They said they already had a capable quarterback in Jon Kitna, one who could lead them to the playoffs.

Their belief was buoyed by Kitna's performance over the final 10 games of 2002. After taking over for an ineffective Gus Frerotte and finally settling back into the starting role, he tossed 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions over that span. He also averaged 258 yards passing a game. What he didn't produce was wins. The Bengals won only two games last year and management didn't believe that Kitna had the qualities of a franchise quarterback.

So, they drafted Palmer, and decided to let him ride the pine and learn by watching the veteran. To this point, there's no telling whether or not drafting Palmer was the right call, but keeping Kitna in the starting lineup has certainly paid dividends for the 3-4 Bengals.