Like it or not, the general view of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is that of an “average” quarterback when compared to the other 32 starting NFL QBs. NFL.com ranks Dalton as just the 9th-best QB under the age of 25, mostly because of his inability hit the deep-ball consistently, as well as his late-season struggles in the Bengals’ biggest games of the season:
The Bengals’ offense didn’t score a touchdown in the two biggest games of the season, at Pittsburgh in Week 16 and in the playoff loss to the Houston Texans. Dalton averaged just 5.58 yards per attempt in his last six starts. (For comparison, Blaine Gabbert and Jimmy Clausen were the only two players to have a lower YPA over a full season since 2010.)
There are many reasons why Dalton struggled for much of his second season, but it mostly comes back to his inability to hit vertical passes. Dalton infamously doesn’t have a great arm, but his accuracy and timing seem more important here. On most of his deep throws, he doesn’t give his receivers a chance.
Dalton was able to finally make the big play to beat Pittsburgh in Week 16 to clinch a playoff berth, but only after his defense surrendered a mere 10 points and got a late interception to set Dalton up in a very manageable position to lead his team to victory.