Overarching all though is certainly the curious case of Andy Dalton. In many respects, it’s still too early to pass a final judgment. Like the popular adjudication of Dalton at the end of last Sunday’s first quarter, prematurity over-emphasizes mistakes, overshadows a 41-20 victory in which that 3 TDs were thrown and a 62.7 QBR was achieved, and gives credence to the wholly exaggerated pop-theory that a Super Bowl cannot be won without an elite quarterback. (see Joe Flacco)
Too much is being made with too little in the books. If Dalton wins a playoff game this season he will be at the helm when a drought of more than three decades is quenched, something that would appease even the harshest critics. So while we are hypothesizing, what if the Bengals lose in their first playoff game due to a defensive meltdown where Dalton throws for 4 TDs and 400 yards? Thus far this year, the Bengals have been winning as a team and losing as a team so this sort of polarity is unlikely, but the point remains that in defeat, Dalton is part of the problem, not necessarily the problem itself.
Remember what has not changed: the goal to win a playoff game is still primary. Until the post season rolls around, the sound advice would be to keep watching, take notes, and check your tar and feathers at the door.