The Ginger Has To Deliver
With all the talk of how good Dalton has become, the bottom line is apparent. He hasn’t won a playoff game and always looks bad losing them. Okay. With the exception of his first postseason appearance against the Texans (64.3 completion percentage, 257 yards), Andy looks quite pedestrian. His playoff completion percentage (55.7) pales when compared to his regular season mark (62.7). These numbers aren’t new to Bengals fans and critics of Dalton. But, they reinforce the stereotype he’s fallen into. He disappears in big games.
I’ve always believed that Dalton could lead the Bengals with a little help. He needs quality players surrounding him and a sound OC. But, there comes a time when it’s no longer about the supporting cast. This is the year that Dalton has to put the team on his back and do what he needs to win.
He’s had the teachings of Tom House and staff to get his mechanics together. All the glorious Pro Football Focus accolades are in his favor. Now, it’s time to translate those stats into a march for the AFC North Championship and beyond.
Simply put, Primetime Andy has to be just as good as Regular Game Andy. It would be great to see the same intensity and drive in the games that really count. Marvin Lewis & Co. have to make sure he’s mentally prepared for the grind of games under the lights and the playoffs.