NFL morning after: Andy Dalton, MVP candidate

AP

In a big game on Sunday, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton came through in the clutch.

I know, I know, Dalton has had some high-profile playoff failures, and therefore we’re supposed to laugh at the notion that he’s a guy who can put a team on his back and win. But that’s exactly what Dalton did yesterday against the Seahawks, throwing for 331 yards and two touchdowns and leading the game-winning drive for a field goal in overtime as the Bengals beat the Seahawks 27-24.

The Bengals are 5-0, and Dalton is an MVP candidate.

Dalton now has a league-leading 1,518 passing yards, along with 11 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. He’s first in the NFL with 9.5 yards per pass and third with a passer rating of 115.6. If you think he’s not one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, you haven’t been paying attention. Dalton is on pace to finish this season with a career-high 35 touchdown passes, a career-high 4,858 yards, a career-high 67.5 percent completion rate and a career-low six interceptions. Even if you weren’t a fan of Dalton’s before, you can’t deny that he’s off to an unbelievable start this year.

And yet . . . I get it. Dalton has started four playoff games in his career, the Bengals have lost all four of them, and Dalton has thrown just one touchdown pass to six interceptions in those four games. As long as Dalton has that playoff record, he’s going to have the “choker” label attached to his name.

But I have a feeling this is the year Dalton will change those perceptions. No player in football is playing any better than Andy Dalton right now.

Here are my other thoughts on this week’s games:

I’m skeptical of the Seahawks. Maybe it sounds strange to laud praise on Andy Dalton for leading the Bengals to a win over the Seahawks and then say I’m skeptical of the Seahawks, but let me be clear: I think the Seahawks’ defense is good, and I’m impressed with the way Dalton played against that defense. But the Seahawks’ offense, and particularly the offensive line, is a huge question mark. The line wasn’t great last year, either, but it got worse this offseason when they lost guard James Carpenter in free agency, traded away center Max Unger, moved Justin Britt from right tackle to left guard, made Garry Gilliam the starting right tackle and made Drew Nowak the starting center. Russell Wilson was sacked four times yesterday and is often running for his life. The Seahawks are 2-3, and they’re one bad call against the Lions from being 1-4. If they don’t get that offensive line straightened out, they’re not going to the playoffs.

NFL’s awful catch rule strikes again. On Sunday in Atlanta, Falcons running back Devonta Freeman caught a pass, had both feet on the ground and lunged the ball forward across the end zone. The official who had a perfect view of the play signaled touchdown. But this is the NFL, where what looks like a touchdown is often an incomplete pass. The referee reviewed the replay and ruled that because Freeman dropped the ball after he put it across the goal line, the pass was incomplete. By the letter of the law, it was the right call. But as noted NFL fan Charles Dickens once said, the law is an ass. The NFL needs to change the rules, because any play on which a receiver can catch a pass, get his feet down and lunge the ball across the goal line should be a touchdown.

This just in: Jim Harbaugh can coach. As you watch Harbaugh turn Michigan back into a college football powerhouse, remember that 49ers owner Jed York and General Manager Trent Baalke decided to replace him with Jim Tomsula at the end of last season. Whether coaching in college or the pros, Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in all of football. Tomsula is not. York and Baalke set their franchise back immeasurably because they couldn’t get along with a great coach.

No quarterback controversy in Cleveland. No, Johnny Manziel will not be starting for the Browns any time soon. Josh McCown was outstanding yesterday in a 33-30 overtime win over the Ravens: McCown passed for 457 yards, with two touchdowns and no turnovers. McCown 356 yards and 341 yards in his two previous games, making him the first quarterback in the history of the Cleveland Browns franchise to have three-straight 300-yard games.

The Lions are terrible. After a beatdown from the Cardinals yesterday, the Lions are 0-5 and the NFL’s only winless team. I don’t think they’re going to match the disaster of 2008, when the Lions were the only 0-16 team in NFL history, but they might just be looking at the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. Whether they have the first pick or not, they’re going to have to answer a hard question about Matthew Stafford, the quarterback they’ve paid a fortune. If Stafford can’t play a lot better over the next 11 games than he’s played over the first five, the Lions will need to bite the bullet, cut their losses and release him after the season.

An interception for the ages. Charles Woodson intercepted Peyton Manning twice yesterday, and that was really something: Woodson, who turned 39 last week, is the NFL’s oldest defensive player. Manning, who turned 39 in March, is the NFL’s oldest regular starter. Woodson beat out Manning for the 1997 Heisman Trophy, and they’ve been two of the best NFL players in the 18 years since then. Now both of their careers are winding down, and Woodson finally gets to check “Pick off Peyton” off his bucket list. This was the first time in NFL history that a 39-year-old intercepted another 39-year-old, and Woodson is the first 39-year-old ever to have a two-interception game. The only other players in NFL history to intercept a pass after turning 39 are Darrell Green and Clay Matthews Jr., the father of Packers linebacker Clay Matthews III.

The best Sunday of football yet. Wasn’t the end of the early kickoff window fun? Overtime in Baltimore. Overtime in Cincinnati. Overtime in Atlanta. A one-point game in Tennessee. A one-point game in Kansas City. All in all, yesterday was the best Sunday of football yet. And Andy Dalton may have been the best player on the field in any of those games.

85 responses to “NFL morning after: Andy Dalton, MVP candidate

  1. Andy Dalton is a different quarterback in January. Just wait. In any case, I’ll take Brady over him in any month and everyone over him in January.

  2. Regular season Andy success is nothing new. We go through the rehyping of Dalton every Sept/Oct. Andy loves 1PM games in the safety of Cincinnati, but once the bright lights come on, he just wants something to hide under.

    His cumulative playoff stats are arguably the worst in NFL history: 1 TD, 6 ints, 218 ypg, 55% comp, 57 QB rating, 0-4 W-L.

  3. Here come 200 people saying ‘but he can’t win the big game. He can’t win a playoff game.’ How original… let’s talk about that…

    1) Dalton playoff losses include his rookie year, being an underdog on the road in his 2nd year, a choke at home, and then playing the Colts with 2 starters at the skill positions

    2) Dalton has beat the following QBs… Big Ben, Flacco, Peyton, Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Wilson, Tannehill, Palmer

    3) Unless you’re a Broncos, Packer, or Patriot fan, then Dalton was taking his team to the playoffs while your team sat at home.

  4. Thank you Legion of Obvious. We here in Cincy had no idea of AD’s postseason and prime time woes. I’m glad you’re here to inform us of these things everytime the Bengals are the subject of an article here.
    I don’t how we would get along in life if those making comments didn’t inform us.

    Thank you again.

  5. Sure, Jim Harbaugh can coach football at any level.
    But, Baalke and York probably still think they’re the smartest guys in the room.
    That’s got to count for something, right?

  6. 5-0 for the Bengals certainly gets attention, but all against teams at or below .500 is not yet worthy of MVP talk. I’ll start being THAT impressed when I see them go 5-0 against teams above .500.

  7. easyeintennessee says:
    Oct 12, 2015 7:19 AM
    Here come 200 people saying ‘but he can’t win the big game. He can’t win a playoff game.’ How original… let’s talk about that…

    1) Dalton playoff losses include his rookie year, being an underdog on the road in his 2nd year, a choke at home, and then playing the Colts with 2 starters at the skill positions

    2) Dalton has beat the following QBs… Big Ben, Flacco, Peyton, Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Wilson, Tannehill, Palmer

    3) Unless you’re a Broncos, Packer, or Patriot fan, then Dalton was taking his team to the playoffs while your team sat at home.
    ______________________________________

    Dalton has beat exactly zero of those quarterbacks. Because he plays against the defense.

  8. Seahawks O-line looked better. Defense had holes mostly due to having to help Williams at the corner.
    On a side note, why is it the Hawks never get to play late games on East coast? Always a 1pm starting time, and this week after a Monday night game. Not making excuses, but dang, it seems the schedulers really are putting some built in road blocks out there also.

  9. There is a little thing called the Dalton Dilemma. It asks a team whether they can be content with just making the playoffs every year, backed by solid regular season QB play knowing this same QB will shrivel in the playoffs and you are guaranteed a first round exit. I’m personally on the fence about it. I love the regular season success we enjoy every year, but I, and everyone else, knows what to expect in January, and it’s heartbreaking.

  10. Let’s not reach for anointing oils quite yet. Give him his due, though. When HC Lewis, who I think is a class act, can say something like ‘On to New England,’ after a loss then we’ll know the ripened Andy Dalton status. He handles things better than Tannehill.

  11. Dalton and the Bengals are playing great. Congratulations to their fans. Good luck (seriously) making noise in January.

    More importantly, don’t we all agree that the Ravens being 1-4 is a true shame? 🙂

  12. Dalton worked hard yesterday…Yes he did…331 yds, 2/1 td/int, 95 rating…Now let’s look at Brady!…275 yds, 2/0 td/int, 130 rating…And he did it with ease, despite the early sacks…I saw desperation in Dalton’s face a number of times…Nothing like that from Brady.

  13. Someone loves himself some Dalton. I thought McCown had a better game and no McCown for MVP?

    I don’t see any other player winning MVP over Rodgers, Brady or Palmer.

  14. Anyone who watches The Bengals knows, there is a huge difference with Dalton this season, and I put it down to Hue Jackson and having a platoon of targets to go at.

    Everyone and his dog knew he was going rightside to AJ Green almost every pass play.

    This year he has a healthy Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert, Mo Sanu, Hill, Bernard and Burkhead; and we haven’t seen other potential playmakers like Alford, Uzomah and Kroft get on the field yet…..

    The biggest thing for me with Dalton this year, is he is going down the middle often, and is loosening coverage because of it. Stop AJ if you want; but you aint stopping all these other guys as well.

  15. Seattle is now overly dependant on Wilson extending plays. It no longer a luxury but a necessity.

    it will work until he gets pounded.

  16. You’re just getting skeptical of the chickenhawks now? They looked like garbage and should have lost to the LIONS…THE LIONS…..at home. You should’ve already been very skeptical. LOB should not be mentioned again until they stop choking when it matters most. If Dalton is a choker, then so are Sherman and crew. They choked in the 4th Q of the SB last year, and they just choked again yesterday. LOC….LOL #shermanisoverrated

  17. A lot of people here condemning Andy Dalton to eternal failure, probably forgot (or never knew) the same things said about young Peyton Manning. He couldn’t win a bowl game, can’t win in the playoffs, he’s a choker.

    They forgot Boomer Esiason on the CBS morning show saying Peyton Manning will never win a Super Bowl, that he’s the “new Dan Marino.”

    I don’t know how Dalton’s career will play out, and neither does anyone else. I see lots of Bengals games where I live, and that team is playing lights-out football right now. Dalton looks terrific.

    I think it’s cool. What, you’d rather watch the Lions?

  18. Leading the league in passing? Well remember other teams (Patriots) have had byes so that’s a meaningless statistic. Dalton’s per game average is 303 yards, Brady’s is 347 yards.

  19. Carson Palmer and Devonta Freeman might have something to say about It.
    Captain Obvious here, how about Marvin Lewis also choking in playoff games, he has been outcoached in every game in post season.

  20. There’s a lot of comments to the effect that this is the same Dalton we’ve seen for the last four years: regular season success, wilts under the bright lights, etc., etc. Anyone saying that has only been looking at the numbers and clearly hasn’t watched the games.

    Dalton over the last four years has been maddeningly inconsistent, has had a habit of making ridiculously bad decisions, and has wilted under *pressure*, not just under the bright lights (not coincidentally, bright lights games usually feature good opponents, which equals pressure). Dalton of the last four years would not have lead that comeback yesterday, and he probably wouldn’t have lead the one against the Ravens, either. He’s different this year. He’s markedly better.

    I get that he can’t fully prove that he’s different until January, but half the commenters here sound like they blame him for not winning a playoff gamer in October. He almost literally could not be doing any better than he is right now.

  21. jae121704 says:Oct 12, 2015 7:42 AM

    easyeintennessee says:
    Oct 12, 2015 7:19 AM
    Here come 200 people saying ‘but he can’t win the big game. He can’t win a playoff game.’ How original… let’s talk about that…

    1) Dalton playoff losses include his rookie year, being an underdog on the road in his 2nd year, a choke at home, and then playing the Colts with 2 starters at the skill positions

    2) Dalton has beat the following QBs… Big Ben, Flacco, Peyton, Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Wilson, Tannehill, Palmer

    3) Unless you’re a Broncos, Packer, or Patriot fan, then Dalton was taking his team to the playoffs while your team sat at home.
    ______________________________________

    Dalton has beat exactly zero of those quarterbacks. Because he plays against the defense.
    ______________________________________
    Don’t matter.. A win is a win no matter which person on the other team you beat. Should’ve been worded the “Bengals” have beaten all those QB’s, so get as technical about it as you want..

  22. jfbowman says:Oct 12, 2015 8:09 AM

    Dalton worked hard yesterday…Yes he did…331 yds, 2/1 td/int, 95 rating…Now let’s look at Brady!…275 yds, 2/0 td/int, 130 rating…And he did it with ease, despite the early sacks…I saw desperation in Dalton’s face a number of times…Nothing like that from Brady.
    _____________________________________
    And what exactly was the point of this mess? Nobody… NOBODY, has ever compared Dalton to Brady..

  23. Overtime in Baltimore sucked because it caused me to miss the 1st quarter of Pats/ Cowboys
    ———————–
    They need to fix this. If your team is in the late game in a doubleheader and you’re in the designated coverage area you should be seeing that game from kickoff, always. If that means dumping out of an early game between non-local teams that’s running long, so be it. Thankfully my team plays most of their games in the noon Central window but I’ve been on the short end a few times in the exact scenario you described, and it’s infuriating.

  24. hehateme2 says:
    Oct 12, 2015 8:42 AM
    Better than miss dink and dunk brady

    _______________

    Slow your roll there, troll.

    Dalton 2015 YPA = 9.49
    Brady 2015 YPA (against better competition) = 8.67

    Not a big difference.

    Facts are stubborn things.

  25. The ginger hammer has a TE that he trusts. That’s huge. The problem for the Bengals going forward is that their Coach is still Marvin Lewis… And Marv lacks scheming skills vs real NFL teams. Cinch has lots of talent…. But not a playoff caliber coach

  26. 69goatboy says:
    Oct 12, 2015 7:31 AM
    Thank you Legion of Obvious. We here in Cincy had no idea of AD’s postseason and prime time woes. I’m glad you’re here to inform us of these things everytime the Bengals are the subject of an article here.
    I don’t how we would get along in life if those making comments didn’t inform us.

    Thank you again.
    ==============================
    What would you prefer? After five games of a season, that your team and Dalton be crowned? That’s not going to happen. If you don’t like the comments, stick with your local fanboy websites. Marvin Lewis has been there for twelve years and has ZERO playoff wins to show for it and you will be reminded of that and the fact that two teams in your division have won three Super Bowls during that time.

    You’re welcome.

  27. For those saying the Bengals have played no one:
    Strength of schedule of the unbeaten teams:

    Cincinnati = 2nd hardest
    Denver = 10th hardest
    Green Bay = 14th hardest
    New England = 22nd hardest
    Carolina = 27th hardest
    Atlanta = 32nd hardest

    Yep, facts are stubborn things.

  28. Funny how in the pre-season everyone was talking about how the Bengals wouldn’t make the playoffs due to their brutal schedule. Now they’re winning, and of course, the teams they are beating are a bunch of hacks. I’ll tell you what – you can have it any way you want it haters. The Bengals are for real, deal with it. On to Buffalo

  29. What would you prefer? After five games of a season, that your team and Dalton be crowned? That’s not going to happen. If you don’t like the comments, stick with your local fanboy websites. Marvin Lewis has been there for twelve years and has ZERO playoff wins to show for it and you will be reminded of that and the fact that two teams in your division have won three Super Bowls during that time.
    ==================================
    I would prefer that the obvious need not be declared every time the Bengals are mentioned. Everyone knows their postseason record.

    What’s your next earth shattering revelation?
    Maybe informing us all that water is indeed wet?

    You’re welcome.

  30. You can talk about cutting ties with Stafford all you want… the truth is though, who do you replace him with? Even with the #1 overall pick, im not sure there is a first round QB in this draft (for granted im not a talent scout)…

    Stafford is an enigma, every year they give him more and more weapons and every year he gets worse than he was the year before… Maybe they should trade away all the talent and see how he does…

    Or bring in a legitimate back up QB, because he also performed his best when he had Shaun Hill sitting behind him, a man who could come in and win you games if needed.

  31. [i]5-0 for the Bengals certainly gets attention, but all against teams at or below .500 is not yet worthy of MVP talk. I’ll start being THAT impressed when I see them go 5-0 against teams above .500.[/i]

    Remind us again how many teams are above .500 this season?

    Who have the the other undefeated teams beaten?

    Fact is, Nobody is playing better than Andy right now. In fact, not many have been better during their first five seasons.

  32. Yawn, Bungles playing well in the regular season talking up a storm. Where have we seen that before ?

    Oh yeah, the last 4 years.

  33. This is a different Cincy team from last year. In their playoff loss last year, Dalton had no AJ Green, no Tyler Eifert and no Marvin Jones. We don’t know what will happen in January until January but this is still only Dalton’s fifth year in the league and it’s plain to see he’s getting better.

    Do you want your team to have to defend Jeremy Hill, Giovanni Bernard, Tyler Eifert, AJ Green, Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu in January? I sure as heck don’t.

    And I’m not a Bengals fan in the least, either.

  34. brady was 4 and 0 vs Cincy heading into the2013 game. Very rainy and windy. Gronk inactive. 13-6 cincy. Cincy kicked two FGs and had one long TD drive. dalton was 20 of 27 for 212 yards and 1 INT. Probably Brady’s worst game of the year. Very impressive defensive effort helped by torrential rain storm that reached its peak on the last NE drive, which ended at the cincy five yard line. Previously in the fourth Q, NE had first and goal at the one and was held to a FG. So yeah, he has beaten Brady.

    I recall the entire cincy team and coaching staff underperforming in the playoffs. dalton was weak but overall team breakdown.

    The league is very binary this year. Several undefeated teams and almost everyone else is at or below 500. As a result, all the undefeated teams have basically beaten teams with losing records.

  35. Overtime in Baltimore sucked because it caused me to miss the 1st quarter of Pats/ Cowboys
    ———————–
    They need to fix this. If your team is in the late game in a doubleheader and you’re in the designated coverage area you should be seeing that game from kickoff, always. If that means dumping out of an early game between non-local teams that’s running long, so be it. Thankfully my team plays most of their games in the noon Central window but I’ve been on the short end a few times in the exact scenario you described, and it’s infuriating

    Who cares. The pats cowboys game was a snooze fest anyways. Actually all those 4pm games sucked.

  36. 69goatboy says:
    Oct 12, 2015 9:18 AM
    For those saying the Bengals have played no one:
    Strength of schedule of the unbeaten teams:

    Cincinnati = 2nd hardest
    Denver = 10th hardest
    Green Bay = 14th hardest
    New England = 22nd hardest
    Carolina = 27th hardest
    Atlanta = 32nd hardest

    Yep, facts are stubborn things.

    _______________

    Dalton have five wins again teams without a winning record.

    Just over a quarter of the season has been played. MVP talk for ANYONE is premature.

  37. Seattle’s line is horrid. A pocket passer QB would have been lost for the season by now and it’s only a matter of time before Wilson gets hurt even with his escapability. But it goes beyond their line; they just don’t produce enough points even when they get in close. That int Wilson threw inside the 5-yard-line yesterday was terrible. Not only was Graham double-covered but he hadn’t even had time to turn around yet on a short little 5-yard pattern; no way should Wilson have even thought about making that throw.

  38. Haters are gonna hate -period. Andy Dalton took the Bengals to the playoffs all 4 years he was in Cincy. Carson Palmer took the Bengals 1 time in the 10 years he played- oh make that 9, didn’t he sit out the last year sucking his thumb until he was traded? Yeah Dalton played poor in the playoffs but how many rookie QB’s take you to the playoffs back to back their first 4 years? Only way to stop a hater is to WIN so keep on rolling Red Rifle. January will be fear the ginger.

  39. Dalton have five wins again teams without a winning record.

    Just over a quarter of the season has been played. MVP talk for ANYONE is premature.
    =================================
    Of the 28 games that the current unbeaten teams have played, only 1 was against a team with a (current) winning record. (Buffalo vs. NE)

    Only the talking heads and pundits are anointing post
    season awards when we aren’t even a third of the way through the regular season.

    One week at a time people.

  40. Oh and the rule won’t change for a few reasons but the main one is trying to make it fair for the defense who can no longer level a receiver while he’s in the process of catching and turning into a runner ffor the reason of “saftey”. This is what the new uber safe NFL looks like. I hope the libs are happy with it. If a defender could still pop the reciever while he’s making the catch we wouldn’t need such a dumb rule, but since we cant, the reciever has to hold the ball until he becomes a football player and is eligible to be wacked once again before dropping the ball. Sad but true

  41. Of course you have to consider Rodgers.

    And watch Le’Veon Bell for MVP… he carried the Steelers last week and may have to do so while Ben is out. While QB’s get all the love these days, he could be one that bucks the trend if the Steelers have a good season.

  42. “Dalton have five wins again teams without a winning record.”

    What will your excuse be tomorrow, after the Chargers go to 3-2 once they beat the Steelers tonight?

  43. I’m wondering how Rams fans are feeling about the Bradford/Foles trade right now? Over the last 2 games Bradford has thrown for 6oo yards, 5 td’s and 2 int’s while Foles has thrown for 230 yds, 4 td’s and 4 int’s. Overall Bradford also has better numbers for the season despite the Eagles awful start…

  44. NFL1818. The Patroit game you mentioned is not completely correct. It only rained the last two minutes of the game. The Bengals defense shut Brady down the first 58 minutes of the game. Broke his streak of 50+ consecutive games with a passing TD. As info

  45. Dear Eddie DeBartolo,

    For the love of God, please figure a way out to get YOUR team back from your pill-popping sister and her incompetent husband, Jed York. When you do, you can fire the egomaniac Trent Baalke for destroying the once proud franchise you built. Even Seattle fans would have to agree that football in general would be better off if a competent 49ers team was relevant again.

    Sincerely,

    Everyone

  46. The Seahawks O’Line played great yesterday. They ran for 169 yds and made the Cincy Defense look porous for 3 qtrs. Russell Wilson holds the ball for a LOOOOONNNG time and always has. It’s hard for any O’lineman to play a full game like that. They don’t do well when they have to rely heavily on offense.

  47. when Andy Dalton wins a playoff game or 2 this year (if the team is healthy) its sure going to be quiet here when all the Dalton haters have nothing to talk about.
    I guess then they will say ‘well he didnt win the superbowl and thats all that matters’
    watching and waiting.
    and guys who hate on andy, let me ask you this
    who is the last quarterback regualr season or otherwise to come back from 17 down to seattle in the 4th quarter and whip their butts??

  48. The biggest difference between the 2011-2014 Bengals and yesterday is that the Bengals, as a team, were able to bounce back from adversity

    2013 AFC Wildcard Chargers vs Bengals
    Rushing SD. 196 to Cin 113
    Passing 1st downs SD. 9 to Cin. 20

    Team’s usually do not win when they have almost 200 yds run on them. Rivers hardly had to play that day.

    In 2014, which was really Andy Dalton’s first bad year, just about all of the offense was decimated fro injuries. I don’t remember seeing a team with more hurt recievers. They couldn’t run, the Defense didn’t have a great day and they didn’t stand a chance.

    Nobody ever mentions how they were projected to be the worst team in the NFL in 2011. Dalton hasn’t changed much. He was always good. This is just what happens as a talented, young team matures.

  49. hehateme2 says:
    Oct 12, 2015 8:42 AM
    Better than miss dink and dunk brady*
    ————————–
    Amazing when people write stuff without facts.

    Dalton’s averaging 9.5 per catch
    Brady’s averaging 8.7 per catch
    Rogers’s averaging 8.1 per catch

    So go dink your dunk

  50. Yeah it sucks getting to the playoffs and losing for 4 years but Peyton lost his first 3 playoff games and he seemed to do alright for himself. Since coming into the league there’s only a handful of teams that have won more games since Dalton has started I believe it’s Patriots and Packers. Not everyone can win the Super Bowl there’s teams that haven’t sniffed the playoffs in awhile. I mean you could have the Redskins Dolphins 49ers Texans etc. mess at qb we Bengals fans should appreciate Dalton for what he is.

  51. Andy Dalton’s success this year is the result of old school-style QB development. It’s a combination of the coaches being all-in on a guy, and the hard work Dalton has put in through all the years to get better.

    Just like Brett Favre in Green Bay, the front office built the team around him, and supported him through thick and thin. Dalton may never be the great that Favre was, but if he keeps working this hard he will have a long NFL career ahead of him as a starter for years to come.

  52. “You still have to win a couple of playoff games, which we know Dalton and the Bengals can’ do.”

    “Can” does not require an apostrophe, but your confidence is appreciated.

  53. Well at this rate, the Bengals will have a bye in the 1st round. And if they’re lucky enough to play my Colts in the division round, Dalton will get his first playoff win

  54. Russell Wilson makes the line look worse than they are because he is incapable of making a read and getting the ball out on time. It is either a simple, one read, immediate throw (many times within one yard of the line of scrimmage) or its Russell running around and waiting for the defense to break down. It always has been. The guy is a great athlete and has made it work, but he needs to improve. Big Ben was virtually the same his first few years and then developed better skills and habits and became a legitimate great quarterback. We’ll see what RW does. So many have already annointed him as a top ten QB. No chance.

  55. Dalton is solid. In terms of what they are doing on the field this year (not their past reputation), the best QBs in the game right now are, in this order:

    1. Brady
    2. Dalton
    3. Eli
    4. Palmer
    5. Rodgers

    No Peyton, no Brees. No Wilson. No Luck. What is more important is that Dalton has put himself firmly into the discussion of who is the QB of the next decade, assuming that most QBs peak from their late 20s until maybe 34-35. Dalton is 27, Wilson and Luck are 26. The Mannings, Brady, Palmer, and Rodgers are all in their 30s, with Rodgers the youngest – he turns 32 in December.

  56. Why not Andy? Yesterday was a nice measure of progress made. He’s throwing great balls out there. Balls. Most importantly, he’s confident and slingin it that way. Who dey!

  57. Your summary of the Lions seems pretty accurate to me, but I’m curious about why you didn’t even mention their head coach. Caldwell may be a decent man. He may even be a decent position coach. But he has already proven himself to be an abject failure as a head coach, and if any HC in the league is on the hot seat, I would think he’d be the guy.

    I’m not a Lions fan, just an observer, but to me it seems that the Lions have some excellent players. They also have a talented quarterback who is either too spoiled rotten to be coached out of his bad habits, or who has some sort of attention deficit disorder requiring medicinal or psychological help.

    Either way, this is all on-going on Caldwell’s watch and I can’t understand why the coaching issue is not being addressed.

  58. As a Pats fan I feel the Bengals are the biggest obstacle to them getting to the Super Bowl.

    Dalton looks different this year from what I’ve seen and as for his past, there is no shame in a guy starting day one as a rookie for a perennial bad franchise and going to the playoffs four straight years even if he loses in the wild card round.

    For those of us old enough to know better, Peyton Manning did not win a playoff game until his 6th YEAR!

  59. But I have a feeling this is the year Dalton will change those perceptions. No player in football is playing any better than Andy Dalton right now.
    ========================
    Yeah, except for Brady Rodgers, Matt Ryan & Carson Palmer…maybe I would consider Dalton in front of Palmer…maybe.

  60. 3) Unless you’re a Broncos, Packer, or Patriot fan, then Dalton was taking his team to the playoffs while your team sat at home.
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    That’s funny, because I distinctly remember the Ravens going on to play the patriots in the divisional round last year while the red headed squirt gun sat at home with his teammates.

  61. Just the fact that the Patriot fans even feel the need to defend Tom Brady’s stats against Andy Dalton’s (hasn’t TB won about a thousand Super Bowls already???), let’s me know that the traditional powers that be in the AFC are taking notice of my Bengals, and are worried their HOF QBs may actually have to beat Cincy. IF we avoid the injury plague of last year – when your starting WRs in a Wild Card playoff game are named Burkhead and Little, you know you’re in trouble – then the Bengals are going to be a tough out in the post season. I’ve been a Bengal fan since 1970, and I don’t think any past Bengal squad wins that game yesterday. So Who Dey!?!?!

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