Bengals News

Marvin Lewis: Bengals to Stick with Andy Dalton

matthewwillson
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Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) walks back to the sideline during the second half in the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

According to Marc Sessler of NFL.com, the Bengals have no plans in the near future to open Andy Dalton‘s job to competition, not with A.J. McCarron or any other quarterback prospect. It is the belief of a few people, including AL.com’s Mark Inabinett, that McCarron’s return to the football field could create quarterback competition over the next few seasons. 

Many fans aren’t happy about Andy Dalton being under center in 2015, or, at least, aren’t happy about him not even having to earn it. Lewis’ remarks suggesting that Dalton is still the team’s franchise quarterback will undoubtedly continue to create unrest in the Bengals’ fan base. Dalton took a giant step back last season as he threw for only 19 touchdowns, down 14 from 201, compared to 17 interceptions, down only three from 2013, despite 105 less attempts.

It’s a huge indictment against Dalton.  The reason for the decrease in attempts is clear; Hue Jackson favors a more balanced offensive approach. Yet, it remains a mystery why Dalton’s touchdown percentage decreased 40%, yet his interceptions only decreased 15%. The other major criticism against Dalton is his four straight “one and done” playoff performances.

There are some positives to Dalton that get overlooked. First, he’s played in all 64 games during his four years with the Bengals. Second, despite his lack of playoff success, he has led the team to four consecutive playoff appearances, which is a team record for consecutive appearances. Finally, Dalton did improve his completion percentage to 64.2% over last years 61.9%.  This percentage is the highest of his career.

Despite these positives, Dalton should be exposed to competition because a little competition is always healthy. What he has earned is the opportunity to see what he can do when his core receivers are healthy all year long.

Next: Bengals' Two Compensatory Picks Ensure BPA in first round

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