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Time for Andy Dalton to come up big, or Bengals will keep coming up short

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If the Bengals are to have any shot of upsetting the Saints in New Orleans, Andy Dalton has to come up big.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals were beaten in most facets of the game against Cleveland in Week 11, and but the play of Andy Dalton ensured Cincinnati would never have a chance. He had one of the worst games of his four-year career, completing just 10 of 33 passes for 86 yards and threw three interceptions. Even more troubling, it was only the latest game in a recent string of poor performances.

Over his past four games, Dalton completed just 68-of-130 passes (52 percent) for 711 yards with just two touchdowns against six interceptions. Unsurprisingly, the Bengals have gone 2-2 in those games, and with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, Dalton is going to have bring his A game today in the Bengals have any hope of winning.

As Coley Harvey notes, Dalton's numbers as of late have been painfully bad, and they must improve today at New Orleans.

After last week's 2.0 passer rating and 4.3 QBR in last week's 24-3 loss to Cleveland, one has to imagine that Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton's play can only improve this week when he visits the Saints. If the Bengals stand any chance of keeping pace with the league's second-ranked offense, their own offense will have to play well. In order for that to happen, Dalton has to be back at his best.

But will he be? Lately, he hasn't played all that well. According to ESPN Stats & Information, out of 34 quarterbacks, Dalton in the last four weeks ranks last in completion percentage (52.3), 33rd in yards per passing attempt (5.5), tied for 31st in interceptions (six) and 29th in QBR (29.4).

He'll get a good chance to rebound this week against a Saints defense that ranks 24th against the pass. With A.J. Green back and healthy, Dalton will have his favorite target to throw to as well.