Trading AJ McCarron Is The Right Move For Bengals

shelbydermer
Sep 1, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) talks with quarterback Andy Dalton (14) in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts in a preseason NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium. The Colts won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 1, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) talks with quarterback Andy Dalton (14) in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts in a preseason NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium. The Colts won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

He’s Not The Guy

Last season, he kept the Bengals’ offense afloat. After Dalton’s season-ending thumb injury in week 14 (with Cincinnati claiming the number one seed in the AFC at the time), McCarron went 2-1 in the final three games, becoming the first Alabama quarterback to win an NFL game in 29 years and helping the Bengals lock up the division crown and tie a franchise-best 12-4 mark.

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In the playoffs, McCarron completed what should have been one of the most iconic touchdowns in franchise history (right next to Stanford Jennings‘ kickoff return in Super Bowl XXIII and Ken Anderson‘s touchdown pass to Don Bass that sealed a win in the Freezer Bowl and the team’s first trip to the Super Bowl), a go-ahead, 25-yard scoring strike to A.J. Green in the final minutes of an eventual Wild Card loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

When the Red Rifle returned in 2016, McCarron’s spot on the bench warmed up. He watched as the Bengals suffered through their first losing season in half a decade and it should be his final year doing so.

As much as winning has followed McCarron, he’s still head and shoulders below Dalton.

Yes, he won two of his three starts in ’16. However, he didn’t light up any box score with eye-popping numbers. Here’s a look at his game log.

@SF (W 24-14): 15-21, 192 yards, TD

@DEN (L 20-17, OT): 22-35, 200 yards, TD

vs. BAL (W 24-16): 17-27, 160 yards, 2 TD

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