ICYMI: Andy Dalton Locked, Loaded, and Ready to Pull the Trigger for 2013

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Jan 5, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) is pursued by Houston Texans linebacker Bradie James (53) in an AFC wild card playoff game at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll be honest. Most of the second half of last season was pretty tough to watch. Really, once December hit, Cincinnati went from cruising in four-wheel drive to being stuck in the mud on offense. The fact that we had a solid winning record in the last month of the regular season (4-1) is actually a miniature miracle. That, combined with the fact that the Eagles gave us an early Christmas on Week 15, and the Ravens rested their starters in the season finale.

To see what I mean by ‘miniature miracle,’ just take a look at the offensive statistics that Cincinnati put up during that stretch. More specifically, the passing stats. In the final five games of the regular season, Andy Dalton went a combined 92-154, with exactly 900 yards passing. That, along with his four touchdowns to a staggering five interceptions, four of which came in the games against Pittsburgh and San Diego.

And of course, those numbers, as well as the following calculations don’t include the terrible performance that Andy Dalton had in Houston, during the wild card match-up this past year. I did this for two reasons.

1) The statistics for NFL quarterbacks are normally separated into the regular season and the postseason to be fair.

2) Just like other Cincinnati fans, I’d prefer not to relive the unbearable suffering during those three hours, as well as the bitter aftertaste I faced for the next three weeks.