Maybe it has something to do with this team's captains, not unlike a wizard stirring the ridiculously oversized pot with deliciously evil intension. After being patched with the "C" on their chest this year, Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga and quarterback Andy Dalton are receiving their share of criticism based on their performances against the Houston Texans on Saturday. Maualuga has owned up to them, frightened that the Bengals won't want him back.
Quarterback Andy Dalton, who completed less than 50 percent of his passes in two of the last four, is somewhat dismissive.
"To go from 4-12 before I got here to 9-7 and now 10-6 we’re getting better and going to be better next year."
Unfortunately it's not the regular season record that's the issue. There's no doubt that Dalton, A.J. Green, the offensive line, the defense, special teams have fantastically built a great two-year run making the playoffs with a 19-13 regular season record. And we expect them to get better and better each regular season. The issue is how both seasons ended in the first round of the postseason.
That's not to say that Dalton isn't reflecting with a supportive head coach, writes Geoff Hobson.
"You've done a lot of good things," is what Lewis said he told Dalton on Monday. "You've just got to keep pressing forward. Keep putting your stamp on the football team. How important it is to you, you just keep impressing that upon them."
Dalton finished the season with a career high in completions (329), yards passing (3,669), touchdowns (27), passer rating (87.4) and average (6.9).