Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton recorded his first NFL start Sunday, posting a win even though he only participated in a share of the game due to an injury to his throwing arm. Bruce Gradkowski became the Bengals version of Francisco Cordero, becoming frighteningly ineffective at times, but sealing the win in the end with a strike on the outside corner/sidelines. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis was pleased by the play of his quarterbacks during their 27-17 win Sunday afternoon.
“I thought Andy, for his first game, handled things well. We have to keep building upon that. I thought Bruce (Gradkowski) did a nice job coming on in relief and keeping the pace and tempo going. He settled down and made a couple nice plays. I think there was a calmness to him, which was very helpful. He’s been there before and been in this situation, and so he came right in, stepped in and was ready to go and that was great.
If you combined the performances between quarterbacks Andy Dalton (102.4) and Bruce Gradkowski (96.5), the combined quarterback rating of 99.8 against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday was better than 17 starting quarterbacks in the league, including names like Phillip Rivers, Michael Vick, Matt Schaub, Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Donovan McNabb; if you doubled McNabb's passer rating, it would still fall three points short of Cincinnati's combined passer rating on Sunday.
Gradkowski and Dalton completed 15 of 27 passes for 173 yards passing, two touchdowns no picks. Considering that a lockout prevented Dalton from working out with the coaches and Gradkowski signing so close to training camp, you have to be pleased by the development of the position.