Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

22 Oct 2013

ESPN: Dalton Limits Cincinnati Ceiling

The Bengals are a well-built team that has proved they can win battles of attrition, but games like Sunday must become more common from Andy Dalton if they're going to seriously be considered NFL royalty.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 22 Oct 2013

5 comments, Last at 24 Oct 2013, 12:02am by greybeard


by Bay Area Bengal (not verified) :: Tue, 10/22/2013 - 4:32pm

I can't read the article since I'm not an ESPN insider, but I agree with the headline.

Let's be honest ... if Detroit doesn't make an absolutely terrible punt (28 yards!!!) with 34 seconds left, this game goes into overtime with the Bengals' defense getting carved up by Stafford, and the offense incapable of moving the ball during the entire fourth quarter.

At best, Cincinnati's chances of winning come down to a coin flip. And if they lose, the story popular media reports on becomes less about Dalton's break-out day and more about his propensity to underthrow a wide-open A.J. Green, as well as his lack of "clutch" or whatever. Analysts would crow about the Bengals' loss to Cleveland and their narrow escape from Buffalo.

Instead, we're somehow "elite." Did John Clayton notice that our secondary is now missing our #1 corner? Thank goodness we have a mostly weak schedule moving forward, but I don't think we can pencil in automatic wins for any Sunday besides 12/22.

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Wed, 10/23/2013 - 7:45pm

Glad you don't consider the home Browns game a guaranteed win. ;) There is an unspoken idea that the Browns will nearly lose out, when in reality there are still realistic ways to get to 8 wins. They need to establish enough of a positive note to retain Mack/Ward/Haden and break the bank on a FA QB.

As far as the topic at hand, I see the Bengals taking the next step in the playoffs at least because their biggest obstacles (HOU, BAL, NE to some degree) have taken a step back. Among other newcomers, they would beat KC pretty consistently I think (still thinking the Chiefs come back to earth hard soon.)

by BengalFaninIN :: Wed, 10/23/2013 - 4:23pm

Well I did read the article, and I watched the game. Certainly the production from the QB position, or the offense in general is problematic. I compared that pass play in particular the 82 yard TD to Green, with a number of other long completions, Manning and Luck's longest completions in the Colts Broncos game etc.

I don't think it's as simple as Andy's arm, I think it might be the play calling scheme or the way he's running it, to me it seem that the offense is very predictable at times and other teams seem able to jump the routes on all the short stuff, there's a whole lot of wide receiver screens and dumps to the tight ends in front of coverage. The overall conservative nature of the play calling and the offense is maddening at time.

by Hello? (not verified) :: Wed, 10/23/2013 - 10:36pm

"Dalton is still the very definition of an average quarterback. The performance against Detroit was nice, and vaulted Dalton's seasonal DVOA into positive numbers, but it also came against the Lions' 23rd-ranked (by DVOA) defense."

Actually, if his DVOA is positive, that is FO's very definition of above average, right? And the fact that the game performance underlying the improved ranking came against a weak defense is accounted for by DVOA being, you know, defense adjusted?

Is there anything at all insightful or interesting in this piece?

by greybeard :: Thu, 10/24/2013 - 12:02am

As long as the ceiling is higher than Super Bowl who cares?
If Eli Manning and Flacco can win Superbowls, so can Dalton.