For the first time in franchise history, the Cincinnati Bengals are going to the playoffs 3 straight years, and this year, they sealed it with some authority – albeit against a very bad Minnesota team.
With a 42-14 whooping in the Jungle, here’s the Week 16 Good, Bad and Mostly Ugly…
Dec 22, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) runs the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports
Andy Dalton – Where is this Dalton more consistently? 27/38, 71.1% completion, 366 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 92.0 QBR and a 136.5 rating. This is the Dalton that I love and believe can lead the Bengals to a Super Bowl.
If this Dalton shows up in the playoffs, the Bengals have a chance against anyone. When Dalton has time (like he did Sunday), he looks like a completely different quarter back. For all the hell Dalton has received this year (some of it valid), think about this: with 117 yards and 2 TDs next week, Dalton would set the franchise record for single season yards and TD passes.
Pass Protection – All quarter backs are better when they have a clean pocket. Few quarter backs seem to have the drop off that Dalton does when the pocket collapses. In the last 5 games, the Bengals line has allowed just 3 sacks and held the opponent to 0 sacks 3 times in the last 5.
While Minnesota got 2 on Sunday, they were harmless sacks. If the line can keep Dalton clean, Dalton can win some big games over these next few weeks.
Brandon Tate – His one kick return was not pretty, but he had 2 punt returns for 27 yards (13.5 avg) and helped keep the offense rolling with his good punt returns.