6. Ryan Fitzpatrick
The Amish Rifle ends up pretty high on this list but mostly because he had a bigger sample size than some of those other random backups throughout the years. Fitzpatrick has played for a ton of NFL teams but the Bengals were one of the first teams he played for. He joined them in just the third year of his career and by 2008, he was starting when Carson Palmer had to miss time due to injury.
Fitzpatrick went on to start 12 games for Cincinnati in 2008 and did okay. He threw for 1,905 yards, eight touchdowns, and nine picks while rushing for 304 yards and two scores with his legs. The performance Fitzpatrick put on that year earned him a deal with Buffalo, where he spent the next four years.
5. A.J. McCarron
A fifth-round pick by the Bengals in 2014, A.J. McCarron didn’t see any playing time until the 2015 season and ended up making three starts that year. He threw for 552 yards and four touchdowns while leading the team to a 2-1 record during that time.
McCarron started the infamous playoff game against the Steelers and played decent enough for the team to win. He even led what should have been the game-winning drive but… Well, let’s leave it at that. Obviously, the loss was not McCarron’s fault and that’s all we’ll say about that playoff game.
The big reason why McCarron is so high on this list though is that he was the last time fans truly felt confident in the backup on the roster. If something happened to Dalton, Bengals fans knew the offense was in good hands if McCarron had to come in.