The Cincinnati Bengals made a big change on Tuesday, as they send veteran quarterback Andy Dalton to the bench in favor of rookie Ryan Finley.
It may be a changing of the guard for the Cincinnati Bengals as news broke today that veteran quarterback Andy Dalton has been benched. After an 0-8 start to the 2019 season, Zac Taylor will get to see what they have in fourth-round pick Ryan Finley.
For fans, this news can’t be completely unexpected. Dalton has been at the helm of a team that has been trending down and in need of a long-overdue rebuild. With the trade deadline still looming, one had to wonder if this is the first show to drop as the team settles into the bye week.
Against the Los Angeles Rams, Dalton and the Bengals offense had one of its better games. In London, Dalton would complete 32 passes on 52 attempts for 329 yards and one touchdown. In the 25-10 loss, Cincinnati looked more like the team fans saw in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks. Unfortunately, the promising start hasn’t panned out and the 0-8 season looks to have claimed its first casualty in Dalton.
Now, it’s on Finley to make something of the opportunity. The rookie from North Carolina State showed some flashes in the preseason but now has an opportunity to show what he can do in the regular season.
With the bye week, the timing of the Dalton news makes sense. It allows the Bengals an opportunity to get Finley ready for a Week 10 home game against AFC North rival and division leader, Baltimore Ravens. Cincinnati lost on the road to Baltimore 23-17 in Week 6.
Finley hasn’t seen any time on the field this season despite the winless start. Cincinnati has struggled to rush the football as well as capitalize in the red zone. Whether the switch to the rookie changes that is something Taylor and the Bengals will watch closely as the team faces the possibility of drafting a quarterback early in the 2020 NFL Draft.