Yep, another Dalton write-up. Like him or hate him, at least he gives us plenty to talk about, right?
Okay, so Dalton just wrapped up a season in which he set 3 different franchise records (TDs, passing yards, consecutive playoff appearances).
He also extended his playoff record to 0-3. That's 3 one-and-done playoff appearances. And people are ready to drop him like a live grenade and get someone, anyone, to replace him. And I believe that is an emotional response that doesn't have much logic or objectivity behind it.
You think 3 one-and-done playoff appearances justifies kicking him to the curb?
How about EIGHT? Surely 8 one-and-done playoff appearances would justify getting rid of that guy as fast as possible, right? Why would you want a guy who has lost in the first game of the playoffs eight times? You wouldn't, right?
Would you change your mind if I happened to casually mention that I was talking about Peyton Manning there? Because I was.
Looking at it objectively, there is no logical reason for Dalton to not continue to be the starter. He set new franchise records this season, which a bad quarterback just doesn't do. He improved in just about every aspect of his game throughout the season. He's also earned the AFC Offensive Player of the Month award and the Offensive Rookie of the Month award, along with being the AFC Offensive Player of the Week 3 times.
Even in his terrible performance in losing to the Chargers, he STILL managed to set a franchise record: Number of completions (29). You'd have to think that a guy who sets positive records even in a game he plays terribly in would be worth keeping.
It's not really fair to compare Dalton to guys who have been in the league way longer than him. But if you compare him to his peers (guys who were drafted the same year or close to it), he's doing pretty well so far.
Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Jake Locker, Colin Kaepernick, and Ryan Mallet were all drafted the same year as Dalton. Only 2 can be said to be doing as well or better (Newton and Kaepernick)
So, out of the 10 guys drafted around the same time, only 4 of them can be said to be equal or better. That puts Dalton right about in the middle. It gets even more interesting when you consider that only Newton, Luck, and RGIII were expected to do better from the beginning. Kaepernick and Wilson were complete surprises. Gabbert, Locker, and Ponder have been mediocre to downright disastrous, and RGIII is fluctuating between being awesome and being terrible (when he's not hurt).
Andy Dalton is not Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Peyton Manning. He's not Andrew Luck either. Those guys don't come along very often, and it is foolish to sit around and complain about not having one of them on your team. Chances are, only about 4 or 5 teams will have one of those guys in any given year.
Personally, I'll take the guy who just set new franchise records over a veteran that got released from somewhere else, or a rookie who has yet to play a down in the NFL. In the vets' case, they weren't good enough to stay where they were, so why would we want them here? In the rookies' case, they haven't proven that they can do better than Dalton has in his first 3 seasons and I'm not convinced that any of them would be an improvement (at least not any of the guys we stand a chance of getting).
New backup QB to develop as an insurance policy? Sure. Write Dalton off now and throw someone else to the wolves? No way. I'm not enough of a gambler to think that is a safe bet at all. If the new guy ends up being worse, we'll have flushed away our best opportunity when Dalton might have been able to pull it off.
Yes, Dalton has issues he needs to correct. But he's never going to correct them if he gets run out of town by a fanbase that wants it all RIGHT NOW at the cost of the team's future.