This alone could even more deeply divide a fanbase split on the subject. It was obvious on a lot of social media as the fourth quarter began to wind down, that many fans already want to see Andy Dalton as the incumbent starter in 2020 based on a one-game performance.
Not a smart analysis, as much as it’s being captive to a feel-good moment. Beating the now 4-8 Jets isn’t exactly like knocking off the New England Patriots, who Cincinnati will see in Week 15. Dalton didn’t resurrect a season, much less save it. He engineered a good enough offensive effort to beat a team that eight other teams have already beaten.
That said, he brings some relief to a team who needed a good day. In the victory, Zac Taylor found a first professional win, Dalton locked up some personal bests, and for one game, the Bengals put it all together. It was a nice story, but it’s also one win against 11 losses.
Cincinnati still desperately needs to turn the page on an aging Dalton and find their next quarterback. If they decide to ride that train again and bypass a signal-caller in the draft, it’s to their detriment and continues to keep the Bengals a second division team.
No feel-good moment is worth a missed opportunity to get better, no matter how much Dalton fans would tell you otherwise.