Quarterback Andy Dalton had his share of ups and downs during his second season in the NFL. In the Chiefs game, Dalton had two great throws that showed his upside. This is the first.
2nd Quarter 10:05 - 1st & 10 from the CIN 43:
The Bengals have three wide receivers (Green, Sanu & Tate), one tight end (Gresham), and one running back (Green-Ellis).
Gresham is confused about his responsibility. He thinks he is supposed to motion across the formation, but he's not supposed to motion at all. After the snap, he needs to shuffle across the formation to block his man on the right side, but instead, he motions pre-snap at the same time as Tate. It should have been a penalty.
Dalton calmly and firmly tells Gresham, "Stay... stop". He hikes the ball a few seconds later. The Chiefs only rush four men, but Tamba Hali (#91) gets a great jump.
Left Tackle Andrew Whitworth jumps backwards quickly due to Hali's explosion off the line, and bumps into Gresham. Fortunately, Hali doesn't aggressively angle into the backfield, perhaps hesitating after seeing Dalton's play-action to Green-Ellis.
Whitworth turns his back on Hali while LG Clint Boling steps in to help too. Trevor Robinson, Kevin Zeitler, and Andre Smith smother the two interior rushers, who aren't even a factor on the play. Brandon Tate does a good job keeping the other outside rusher wide, and Gresham runs over to double team him too.
It's a brilliant play design by Jay Gruden. It got the desired result - a clean pocket. Dalton resets his feet after the play-action, then chooses his receiver. Ironically, the Chiefs dropped seven men in coverage, but the two Bengals players running routes would both be open. Sanu is open across the middle. Green is stutter-stepping fifteen yards past the line of scrimmage, hoping to put the double move on a very good cornerback in Brandon Flowers.
Despite the tight coverage and safety over the top, Dalton chose to fit it in to Green. He steps into his throw and launches a ball that neither defender can get to.
A small window in double coverage.
Green holds on to the ball, despite the high hit from safety Abram Elam that was flagged for unnecessary roughness. The Bengals set up on the eight yard line, and Dalton scores three plays later on a bootleg from the one yard line.