Andy Dalton had a bad game in the Bengals’ playoff loss to the Chargers, but coach Marvin Lewis thinks it’s unfair to pin the loss solely on Dalton.
“Everybody wants to blame our quarterback for everything, but in that game against San Diego it was both offense and defense,” Lewis told Don Banks of SI.com. “We didn’t stop them on third down and get off the field, our great little running back [Giovani Bernard] fumbled the football [at the 5-yard line], and we didn’t make any plays on special teams or turn the ball over on defense. It’s easy to point at one guy, but baloney, the football team didn’t play as well as we needed to win.”
Dalton has one year remaining on his rookie contract, and it’s unclear how close the two sides are to a new deal. Lewis suggested that Dalton may be seeking a contract in the $18 million a year range, which is what Jay Cutler got from the Bears.
“I know he would like to get it done and I know we’d like to get it done, and just hopefully we can get by that deal with my man, Cutler in Chicago and we can all get something everybody likes,” Lewis said.
If Dalton wants Cutler money, the Bengals would be wise to make him wait for it. The playoff loss may not have been all Dalton’s fault, but if Dalton is going to get paid like a top-tier quarterback, he should prove he can play better in a playoff game than he played against San Diego.