Has the Red Rifle Run its Course?

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Jan 5, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) walks off the field after a game against the Houston Texans in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of the season, I set three, reachable standards I wanted Dalton to make in his third year as the Bengals quarterback.

The first was to throw for 4,000 yards, which he did. The second was to maintain a 2:1 touchdown-interception ratio, or at least get close to it. He ended up throwing 33 touchdowns, but was also picked-off 20 times.

But most importantly, the third was for him  to win a playoff game.

All of those standards were things I expected of him based on the talent surrounding him, along with the idea that a QB’s third year in the NFL is a benchmark year. It’s the year where a team has to make a decision on whether to keep investing in the talent they have, or start over.

And after all of the support, and all that Dalton has done, it’s hard to bring myself to back him any longer.

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