With a win last week Andy Dalton became the first Bengals QB in over 30 years to have three consecutive winning seasons. But there are still fans out there that are trying to push him out the door. While I understand some of the frustration and have shook my head on a few floated balls this season. (The San Diego INT anyone?) But that said Andy has shown some serious grit in the later halves of a lot games.
I don't think enough fans really focus on his record as a starter, at this point he has a 28-13 record as a starter and has begun to beat upper level competition, which was the knock on him his first two seasons as a starter. This year against teams who are still in the playoff conversation he's 5-3 and all losses have come on the road. I think you have to be impressed with that, if you're not then you're one of those idiots that doesn't understand the speed of the NFL game and sits at home saying, "I coulda thrown a better ball than that!" To those people I say, please, for the sake of everyone around you, be quiet, the adults are talking.
Now let's take a look at Andy's stats from this year, he currently sits at 3,419 yards, 25 TDs, and 16 INTs, he's set to have career highs in all of these. So let's go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room, those 16 interceptions are WAY too high, he had 16 all of last season. I don't care if 5 of them weren't his fault, that's football you occasionally are gonna have INTs that weren't your fault, that number has to come down next season, and I think it will. As for yards and touchdowns, his career highs in both respectively are 3,669 yards and 27 TDs. He will definitely eclipse the yards mark, he could do that this week with a good game, and he's only three TDs from eclipsing his mark of 27 touchdowns from last season. I think he'll set career highs for all of these and while interceptions are trending up, so are touchdowns, yards, attempts, and possibly completion percentage, remember Brett Favre won a Super Bowl with a ton of interception, while I'd rather not have them they're not gamebreakers like they used to be.
Now one other thing I'd like to say and then I'm done, while I can understand some skepticism from fans about Andy let me pose one question to you. Who would you get to replace him immediately? I would be willing to look into the draft, I think there's a strong crop of QBs coming out this year and some of them could fit in, but I don't think with an established QB the Bengals would start them immediately. The only other guy out there is Jay Cutler and while I wouldn't be opposed to looking into him, I wouldn't take him over Andy. Jay seems to have become a bit injury prone and he's not exactly a low INT type of guy. I think you'd just be trading one high INT guy for another, and while Jay has a much bigger arm, I think Andy's football IQ is much higher than that of Jay Cutler. So outside of Jay let me know who you would like the Bengals to take a look at. (This is a hypothetical question, I don't think they'll draft a QB either.)