At the beginning of the season Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton got the perception that he may hold his team back like Matt Schaub did with the Houston Texans – to be fair Schaub does not deserve all the blame for the Texans dilemma, but some.
Although Dalton lead his team to back-to-back playoff appearances he did not shine in these post-season clashes, fell short of earlier expectations and was defeated by the Houston Texans twice.
In games with such magnitude like the playoffs it is not enough to play mistake free but to be great when the game is on the line.
Maybe Dalton got the edge this season. It looked that way though based on his last performances.
But Dalton still has to face these critics. Asked what he thinks about the perception being just a game manager, Dalton said:
“Well as long as we are winning games that’s all that matters. I think there are a lot of good quarterbacks who were called game managers. But I think I have done a lot to help this team win games […] I’m not worried about what other people are saying as long we are winning.”
That the Bengals are winning has a lot to do with Dalton’s improvement. He throws the ball better, makes better decisions and stays poised in the pocket.
NFL expert Charley Casserly says the third year quarterback has “ice in his veins”.
That’s true. Dalton’s passer rating improved every season since he has entered the league: From 80.4 to 87.4 to 93.9. His high interceptions rate scares though.
An interesting match up for Sunday as the Jets try to get their first winning streak this season by beating their upcoming opponent.
The Jets followed every win with a defeat this year and it’s not getting any easier when they visit the 5-2 Cincinnati Bengals, who have won the last three games and beat some tough teams too.
What do you think? Will Dalton lead the Cincinnati Bengals to their fourth win in a row?