With Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton taking a lot of heat after showing signs of regression in his third year in the NFL, a year where should still be making strides to becoming a franchise QB this team can rely on now and for the foreseeable future.
ESPN NFL Analyst Ron Jaworski ranked Dalton as the No. 18 quarterback in the NFL right now:
I’m really disappointed I haven’t seen a quantum leap from Dalton with all of the offensive weapons he has around him in Cincinnati. I know he has limitations with deep-ball accuracy, but with A.J. Green on your roster, you’ve got to get the ball down the field. When they drafted Giovani Bernard, I thought they’d use him like a Reggie Bush or a Darren Sproles, but that hasn’t really happened yet. Still, they’re deep at tight end, deep at wide receiver and deep at running back. That’s a lot of assets at Dalton’s disposal, but he hasn’t produced to match that talent level around him.
Bleacher Report Featured Columnist (and Stripe Hype alum) Sean O’ Donnell believes the coaching staff is at fault for some of his struggles, but his pocket awareness is the most concerning issue right now:
One thing to take away from those projections is the increased amount of attempts from Dalton this season. Instead of keeping a balanced offensive attack, the coaching staff is relying heavily on Dalton’s arm.
Perhaps Marvin Lewis and Co. should look back at their quarterback’s 2012 numbers. Over the six games in which Dalton posted a passer rating over 100 last season, he never attempted more than 31 passes. Less is more.
Despite being asked to do more in 2013, something has to be the main cause of Dalton’s drop-off in production. Looking back over his 42 attempts against the Browns on Sunday, a familiar deficiency reared its ugly head. He continues to hold on to the ball far too long.
This is something that Dalton has struggled with since entering the NFL in 2011. However, in his third year, he should be showing signs of improvement. He’s not.