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Defining Bengals’ Andy Dalton

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Over the past five years, one can divide Cincinnati Bengals’ fans into two categories: those who think Andy Dalton should be replaced, and those who do not.  The former will site an erratic passer rating (85.1) that includes a less-favorable touchdown-to-interception ratio (99:66), an arm that despite improving each year remains “limited,” and almost certainly his inability to win in the playoffs.

Supporters can speak to different aspects and interpretations of those numerics, like the fact that Dalton is one of only four quarterbacks with 3,000 yards and one of five that passed for at least 20 touchdowns during his first three seasons.  Additionally, Dalton is the only quarterback in Bengals franchise history to lead the team to four consecutive playoff appearances, and he holds the franchise record for passing yards as well as touchdowns in a single season.

Nevertheless, the best counter-argument to naysayers is simply to ask the question, if not Dalton, then who… and how?

The two questions go hand in hand.  For instance, it is one thing to say that Cam Newton or Andrew Luck is a better quarterback.  It is another entirely to say that the Bengals should acquire them, a suggestion made even more outlandish when one over-simplifies the process by which such an effort would be undertaken.  Moreover, if the Bengals were to dismiss Dalton, a quarterback who inherited a 4-12 team and maintains a career record of 40-27-1 (that includes playoff loses), what message does that send to a ‘better’ free agent quarterback the team may try to court?

Next: Dalton within NFL History

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