Nov 6, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
If Andy Dalton played for most other NFL teams than then Cincinnati Bengals, his performance against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night would have thrown him and his coach into a full-blown quarterback controversy. Lucky for Dalton and head coach Marvin Lewis, the Bengals have little choice but to suck it up and take whatever “production” Dalton can deliver.
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Dalton’s backup is veteran Jason Campbell, who was barely passable as a stater years ago for the Washington Redskins, and who got laughed out of his post-season starts this past August. As bad a Dalton has been, Campbell would be worse.
And make no mistake: Dalton has been bad. He’s ranked 24th in QBR, 29th in passer rating and 24th in completion percentage, with a similar story to be told for just about any stat you choose. Pick your favorite and give it a go.
Are there any other options for the Bengals? Not unless they’re in the market for a castoff like Josh Freeman or Rex Grossman.
In fact, Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu might be the best available alternative to Dalton. Really.
To make matters worse, the Bengals’ hot start means they’ll end up with at least a decent record, and they still have a chance for good one. As of last Monday, the Bengals were in line for the 24th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, which probably takes them out of the running for Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota.
Sitting in the lower half of the first round, the Bengals might still have a shot at a QB. Someone like Connor Cook or Dak Prescott could fall to them and at least give Dalton some competition.
For now, though, Dalton seems impervious to the whims of wins and losses, because he’s the only game in town.