Has the Red Rifle Run its Course?
Jan 5, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) is tackled by San Diego Chargers linebacker Jarret Johnson (96) during the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. The Chargers defeated the Bengals 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Quarterbacks are supposed to do a lot of things. Namely, they should be able to throw the ball well, avoid excessive mental mistakes, and lead their team, both vocally and through their play.
If those three staples reign true for signal-callers, then Andy Dalton is a sad excuse for an NFL quarterback. At least it seems so when it matters most.
The Bengals beat the Chargers earlier in the season, 17-10, in San Diego. They were undefeated at home all season long. Yet, none of that mattered in a performance that saw Dalton commit three turnovers.
The first was a 3rd and 14 play in which Dalton scrambled out of the pocket on a run. After picking up close to ten yards, he dove head first as he reached for the first down marker. Without being touched, he fumbled the football on the ground.
Following that, Dalton threw two interceptions. And these weren’t interceptions where blame could be placed on the receiver, or where the defender made an exceptional play. The first of these two throws was a terrible decision in the face of a San Diego blitz. The second of the two was an atrocious read on a crossing route.