Brian Hoyer did much better than expected last week (321 yards and 3 TDs) and should be given credit. However, lets’ not get carried away. He was going up against the 29th ranked defense (28th against the pass) and he did have 3 INTs, a 55.6% completion and a 68.3 rating. Hoyer and his 150 career passes (54 last week) will be facing a much better defense this week. Dalton on the other hand is a grisly veteran compared to Hoyer.
Dalton has been under intense scrutiny from Bengals fans, and while he has had some head scratching and frustrating moments, overall, he is having a very solid season. 67% completion, 5 TDs, 3 INTs, 93.2 rating and nearly 260 ypg. What Dalton needs to work on is his starts. In all 3 games, Dalton has gotten off to a poor start. It won’t get easier in week 4 against a very good Browns defense (6th).
Dalton has a clear advantage here.
Coming into the season, I believed the Browns had arguably the best OL in the division and one of the better OL in the NFL (and I think most Browns fans would agree). After 3 games, I am wrong. The Browns have surrendered 14 sacks in just 3 games and spurred a running attack so bad, the term “non-existent” would be a compliment. The Bengals DL should be able to disrupt the passing and “running game” of the Browns.
The Bengals OL will have a tough task in keeping the Browns defense (12.0 sacks) off Dalton, however, they have faced 3 good pass rushing teams and have yielded only 5 sacks so far (though 4 did come last week). The Bengals OL will have their hands full with this Browns defense, but they are good enough to do so. The Browns on the other hand may not be capable of keeping the Bengals DL off Hoyer.