It was the regular season of course, when things were carefree and easy, when the Cincinnati Bengals ran off eight straight wins inside Paul Brown Stadium. But when you’re a team whose last win came against the Houston Oilers, when you’re coached by a guy who’s now 0-5 in the playoffs and when your quarterback’s worst qualities are in the postseason, damn it kind of gets predictable.
Yesterday afternoon, in the 2nd half it was shown.
Quarterback Andy Dalton has yet to clear the smallest humps when it comes to big games and Sunday, when a lot of people expected him to breakthrough, he could not have more disappointing.
In the 2nd quarter, he threw his first touchdown pass ever in a playoff game, he then turned to “Bad Bad Andy” in the second half, turning it over three straight times with a fumble and two horrible interceptions to give away the halftime lead of 10-7 for Cincinnati. On Saturday, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw three picks. He’s not a rock of consistency. But he also showed the resilience we’ve yet to see in Dalton.
Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis has to wonder if he’ll ever win a playoff game with Dalton who now has six picks and a lost fumble in his three postseason starts. But no surprise, in his postgame press conference yesterday he defend him.
Dalton faced every question hammered at him in his postgame press conference. Until he wins a playoff game, the doubters will let him hear it.
Teammates weren’t saying anything. His same buddies, weren’t any better. All-pro receiver AJ Green, wasn’t being taken out of the game by the Charger’s two deep coverage, he was dropping perhaps the best pass Dalton threw all day.
Other quarterbacks are the guys who make enough plays to help everyone out. Luck, again, was a perfect example of that Saturday. Dalton will be doubted until he does.