By the way the statisticians measure the play of a Quarterback, Andy Dalton was perfect last night. Really, there is no argument to the contrary. When you look at his stat line against the Jets, there is not a flaw in it:
How about going out and completing all of your passes for a perfect 158.3 Quarterback rating? This is exactly what he did. For those of you who may have missed the game and are thinking he was hitting high percentage throws, or that the receivers bailed him out (a common theme in the anti-Dalton crowd), below are a couple of his bigger throws.
The first was the 43 yd touchdown to Mohamed Sanu. After a penalty pushed the Bengals back to the Jets 43 yd line, Andy Dalton has plenty of time in the pocket to drop an absolute dime into the bread basket of Sanu. Off the line, Sanu beat the defender who was able to close quickly. An off throw wouldn't be ok here, Dalton obliged.
Later in the quarter, The Bengals were driving again and this time A.J. Green broke free on the Bengals sideline. A tough pass to hit a guy in stride right on the line. Any timing issues or target issues and this is at best an incompletion. Once again, Dalton nails it.
Both of these balls were on point and deep throws, the two areas Bengals fans bring up when talking about Dalton's everyday game. Last night, on his home turf, Dalton shows what his work this off-season has done. You can't get more impressive than perfect, so Dalton is a no brainer this week for players that impressed.
The second impressive performance last night would be from the Bengals offensive line. Take a look at the clips above and in both you see Andy Dalton did not feel pressure. Especially in the touchdown connection to Sanu, Dalton had all day to wait for the play to develop. The offensive line kept a very good Jets unit from getting within an arms reach from Dalton.
The line also contributed for a Giovani Bernard touchdown. On 3rd and goal, it looked like Bernard would be stopped short on a very good defensive stand from the Jets line. However, his legs kept churning and the line combined to move the entire pile into the end zone. A touchdown that was truly a team effort.
My last player that impressed is also on the offensive side of the ball. After losing Marvin Jones for some significant time, many Bengals fans wondered who could step up and fill the void left. From the looks of last night, Mohamed Sanu fits just fine in those big shoes.
Sanu may have only had two catches, but he accounted for over a third of Dalton's total yds. For the small sample size, that is exactly what you want from the number two guy. He is there to exploit the defense when he can and he made the most of the opportunity when it was presented.
This pre-season, the offense looks really good. At least the first team offense does. I think the cries for changes on that side of the ball are slowly fading to whimpers. We are still wading through the muck until actual football starts in a few weeks, but the outlook for the Bengals so far is optimistic. Hue Jackson seems to have done the right things to get this unit up to speed. His up tempo pace fits the personnel on this team and the results are shining through.