Oct 13, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) calls a play during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Dalton: Love Him Or Hate Him

When it comes to Cincinnati Bengals quarterbacks the city of Cincinnati has a love or hate relationship with their quarterbacks.

Andy Dalton is just the next quarterback in that long line of quarterbacks. Ask any Bengals fan on Monday morning whether or not they were pleased with Daltons play and each time you’ll get a different answer.

But is Daltons play really ever been that bad for criticism? Is it his fault the team has not advanced past the first round in the last two seasons? Many of you will say yes and you’re right. But this is a team game, everyone has to carry the weight.

This past Sunday Dalton threw for 337 yards, his first 300 yard game in over a year and the sixth of his career. The Cincinnati Enquire wrote “Only the sixth of his Dalton’s career.” Why is “only” in that sentence? Andy Dalton isn’t the play caller, he isn’t the receiver. The criticism is uncalled for.

Who was the last Bengals quarterback to take the team to the playoffs in his first two seasons? Its ok I’ll wait for you to answer that. No one is the answer. No Bengals quarterbacks have done what Dalton has.

Now there are a lot of Bengals fans who hate Dalton. Look back at twitter over any game this season you will see plenty of Dalton haters. Point in case this tweet right here:

That sort of sentiment from Bengals fans only get worse and more vulgar say Dalton would perhaps over throw a receiver. Because the twitter quarterbacks hit their rubber tire target every night in the back yard.

In his first two seasons Dalton threw for 3398 yards in 2011 and 3669 in 2012. Compared to Cam Newton who was taken #1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft Dalton has not matched Newton. But by not matching Newton’s numbers he has taken his team to back to back playoff appearances while Newton hasn’t even come close.

When ESPN did their Top 5 young quarterback countdown earlier this season Andy Dalton wasn’t even included. Instead Cam Newton, RG3, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Colin Kaepernick were on the list instead. To break this down, Newton has never been to the playoffs, Wilson lost in the divisional round, RG3 lost in the wildcard, Luck also lost in the divisional round, and Kaepernick went to the Superbowl after playing in only half the season.

Meanwhile Dalton went to back to back playoffs, losing both times but to not be included in the list is a little ridiculous. Especially considering Dalton gets no hype, no respect.

When it comes to Bengals of the past you can compare Dalton to Boomer Esiason. Boomer is beloved in Cincinnati, people love to think he was some greater than anyone quarterback. But when you look at their quarterback ratings for their first two seasons Daltons is 84.5 while Esiason’s is only 83.1. Now numbers aren’t always indicative as to how valuable the player is to the team but this should get people to back off Dalton a little.

Dalton does deserve the criticism sometimes though. He overthrows targets a few to many times, he under throws, holds onto the ball for one second to long. His incompletions are a little to high and his interceptions are bad. But at the end of the day is he really that bad?

His head coach believes in him, so much so that he threw former quarterback Carson Palmer under the bus. Palmer took the Bengals to two playoff appearances during his tenure here but Dalton has done it quicker.

Love him or hate him Andy Dalton is the quarterback of today, tomorrow and the future for the Bengals, better learn to love him Bengal fans.

Tags: Andy Dalton Bengals Cincinnati Bengals

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