Dalton at QB is better than probably half of the QB situations in the league.
He’s not bad (Ponder, Locker, Sanchez/Geno).
But he’s not elite (Manning, Rodgers, Brady).
He’s in that Schaub / Flacco middle ground.
But in a QB-driven league, the fact that he’s only "good" is going to be evident.
His negatives are that he too often underthrows the open deep ball, and overthrows the open shorter routes. He has zero escapability, and can’t make the big throws when it counts.
He has limited upside, as he already knows the offense, and has made no improvement on these negatives.
Interestingly, last year Dalton was essentially Jon Kitna.
Dalton’s 2012 season compares very well to Kitna’s 2003 season in Cincy.
AD ... 62.3% ... 3669 yd ... 27 td ... 16 int ... 87.4 qbr
JK ... 62.3% ... 3591 yd ... 26 td ... 15 int ... 87.4 qbr
But, of course, fans don’t want a game-managing Jon Kitna. They want a QB who can take the team to the next level, carrying them on his back making the big throws. And the hope was that in year 3, Dalton would take that next step. He was given 2 good TE’s, an all-pro caliber WR, a pass catching RB, and solid WR’s behind Green to make this next step easier to ascend.
But after 4 games, it appears that reaching the next level may not be in Dalton’s ability. Maybe it is. But it doesn’t seem to be.
If Dalton can’t take that next step from good to very good, the Bengals have 2 options...
Continue rolling with Dalton managing the game, and hope the Defense, and offensive weapons around Dalton, will be enough to carry them to victory.
Give John Johnson a shot. He already knows the offense from his time in Tampa. He showed in preseason he can make big throws, and he has the escapability that Dalton lacks when under pressure.