Oct 31, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) reacts after an interception by Miami Dolphins cornerback Dimitri Patterson (not pictured) in the second quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Dalton and Cincinnati Bengals must overcome Big-Game Struggles


 

The Cincinnati Bengals are hot, and so is quarterback Andy Dalton after being named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. But history suggests that won’t be the case Sunday night in a prime time game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The one team Dalton has consistently struggled against has been the Steelers. In five games against them, Dalton’s averages reflect that of a QB struggling mightily:

Date

Location/Score

Att.

Cmp.

Yards

%

Yards/Att.

TD

INT

Long

Sacks

QB Rating

11/13/11 Home/L 24-17 30 15 170 50.0 5.67 2 2 36t 0 61.8
12/4/11 Away/L 35-7 24 11 135 45.8 5.63 1 0 43 3 77.6
10/21/12 Home/L 24-17 28 14 105 50.0 3.75 1 1 17 0 56.4
12/23/12 Away/W 13-10 41 24 278 58.5 6.78 0 2 25 6 58.8
9/16/13 Home/W 20-10 45 25 280 55.6 6.22 1 0 61 0 81.7
Totals 168 89 968 53.0 5.76 5 5 43 9 67.8

Dalton in prime time games hasn’t been much better:

Date

Opponent/Score

Att.

Comp.

Yards

%

Yards/Att.

TD

INT

Long

Sacks

QB Rating

9/10/12 at Baltimore, L 44-13 37 22 221 59.5 5.97 0 1 27 4 65.3
10/21/12 Pittsburgh L 24-17 28 14 105 50.0 3.75 1 1 17 0 56.4
12/13/12 at Philadelphia W 34-13 27 13 127 48.1 4.70 1 0 19 6 74.2
9/16/13 at Cincinnati, W 20-10 45 25 280 55.6 6.22 1 0 61 0 81.7
10/31/13 at Miami, L 22-20 53 32 338 60.4 6.38 0 3 26 5 55.4
Totals 190 106 1071 55.8 5.64 3 5 27 15 66.4

To be fair, he’s played two prime time games this year and performed adequately in one (Pitt in Week 2) and poorly in the other (Miami in Week 9). Most of his struggles in primetime and vs. the Steelers came in his first two seasons.

That’s not meant to be an excise for him though, but only to point out that how he performs Sunday night should be a good indicator as to whether he still struggles in big-game scenarios, of if he’s finally maturing into a QB capable of handling the big stage.

 

 

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