Lewis: Five-play game

Posted: 4:40 p.m.

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Lewis

There were no get-quick elixirs offered Monday in the ashes of the worst defensive outing in the Marvin Lewis era.

Lewis boiled the game down to five early plays that went south in Sunday's 51-45 loss to the Browns and had no comment when asked if he would take over the play calling.

He also said that wide receiver Tab Perry (hamstring) most likely won't be available for this week in Seattle after getting hurt early Sunday and that center Eric Ghiaciuc (thumb) can return after sitting out. Middle linebacker Ahmad Brooks (groin), another key early casualty from Sunday, appears to be questionable.

The five plays? All in the first half. The Bengals' two turnovers (a Carson Palmer interception and a Rudi Johnson fumble), Browns quarterback Derek Anderson's first two touchdown passes on third down, and middle linebacker Caleb Miller's missed interception.

"We have to play better in the critical parts of games," Lewis said at his Monday news conference. "Couple those five plays together and it's a different outcome of the game. You look at the difference between the headlines in our area compared to the headlines four hours north and you'd think they shut us out. That's the difference with plays being made."

Defensive captain John Thornton said the Browns' 554-yard effort wasn't a coaching issue and that after reviewing the tape defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan told the defense he would have changed only one call.

"The important thing now is not to point fingers," he said. "We've got so many young guys, you start doing that and they could go the other way."

Lewis had his numbers pretty much right on about Johnson's fumbles. He noted in about the last five games dating back to last season, the Bengals have fumbled more than they ever have since he arrived. In five of the last six games, Johnson has fumbled six times. In 2004 (four) and 2005 (one) he fumbled a combined five times.

Lewis actually saved his most animation for Bill Cowher of CBS, the man that gave him his first NFL job with the Steelers 15 years ago. Asked about his reaction to Cowher's observation that he wouldn't condone Chad Johnson's end-zone antics and that Lewis does, Lewis fired back.

"It's unfortunate he said that because he would know better than that because he knows me as well," Lewis said. "He's coached Chad in the Pro Bowl and all he had was glowing things to say about Chad. Now he's in a different position, where part of the job is to create controversy. It's unfortunate."

Now he's in a position where he can create controversy."

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