The Cincinnati Bengals are in desperation-mode this week as the Cleveland Browns come into town looking for a season-sweep in the Battle of Ohio and control of the AFC North. But none of that would be the case if it weren’t for the Bengals’ two-game losing streak.
While many of the team’s players and coaches have some blame to shoulder for this, none have been more evident that the struggles of Andy Dalton. Over the past two games, he’s completed just 56/104 passes for 612 yards and two touchdowns against six interceptions.
Much of his struggles can be attributed to his inability to beat the blitz, as detailed by Pro Football Focus:
Out of his 118 drop-backs in the last two games, 39 have been blitzed. He received a combined -7.7 grade against the blitz in the last two weeks compared to a +1.4 when not blitzed. All three of his interceptions against the Dolphins came against the blitz, and he completed just 4-of-14 passes against the Ravens’ blitz. When these teams met in Week 4, the Browns blitzed 15 times on 46 drop-backs. Dalton was 6-of-14 with a -1.7 grade on those snaps, even though pressure was generated on just seven of them.