The only thing we evaluate is 'Can we win with this guy?' That's the one thing. When we talk about any player at the end of the season, the No.1 question is 'Will he help us win?' And to take it one step further, 'Can we win a championship with this guy?'
Sounds like the typical conversation in regards to Andy Dalton. Can he help us win? Can he take us to that next level? Does he have the ability to really be the guy we need him to be now and in the future? Where's the consistency?
Well... That quote was not made about Andy Dalton.
It was made by one of the owners of the NY Giants, John Mara, about Eli Manning, after a horrible loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The next week? 1-10 on third down conversions, and the defense has to carry the offense on their backs for the win. The very next week, Manning throws FOUR interceptions, THREE of which are the "full Palmer / Schaub" variety (Pick-6). Then he struggles, but the Giants manage to back their way into the playoffs with a wild card spot.
So... Here we have an inconsistent QB in his third full season who can be a pick machine (at times) and whose future is questioned. The team manages to get into the playoffs as a TEAM effort, not necessarily on the back of the QB. Sound like a familiar story?
So, how does the story play out? Well... If you haven't figured it out yet, this was the 2007 version of the Giants. Manning went on to win MVP honors in Super Bowl XLII.
How does this translate to Bengaldom?
Those of you who have questioned Dalton's ability to lead us anywhere special have made (and continue to make) good points. And many who have defended Dalton have compared him to a young Drew Brees. But a comparison to Eli Manning is not something I ever really hear. The book isn't written, folks. And anything can happen. No one expected the Giants to win the whole shooting match in 2007 - especially when the Patriots were scaring the crap out of the 72 Dolphins. But... the inconsistent 3rd year QB simply played good enough, and the team played as a team, and they brought home a Lombardi trophy as a result.