Andy Dalton has been steady. The sixth-year quarterback has quietly put together a very solid 2016 season with a relatively new cast.
Coming into 2016, no one knew what to expect from Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton. The last time he was on the field, an injured thumb cost him a shot at playoff redemption.
In the offseason, the most interesting thing to happen with Dalton was a frantic search for his lost luggage four days after the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50. One month later, he watched two of his receivers, Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, leave Cincinnati for bigger contracts in Detroit and Atlanta, respectively.
So when the 2016 regular season rolled around, who was he to throw to? A.J. Green was the only familiar name in the lineup with Tyler Eifert starting the season on the IR. Despite being sacked a career-high seven times against the Jets in week one, the Red Rifle completed all four of his passes for 33 yards on the Bengals’ final drive, setting up a game-winning field goal that lifted Cincinnati to a 23-22 win.
Fast forward 16 weeks from that opening-day win. The Bengals are 5-9-1 and were officially eliminated from postseason contention on Dec. 18th. Cincinnati hosts Baltimore on New Year’s Day in a game that will end disappointing campaigns for both teams.