Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton didn't have a great night as a Pro Bowl quarterback on Sunday. Entering the game with a 28-25 lead and 1:52 remaining in the third quarter, Dalton replaced Drew Brees as Team Carter's third (and final) quarterback. During the final four possessions of the game, they went punt, punt, punt before Team Irvin took a 32-28 lead on Matt Ryan's touchdown throw to Jimmy Graham with 3:14 remaining in the game.
Team Carter drove 70 yards to the 19-yard line with Dalton completing five of six passes with four going to running backs Alfred Morris (three receptions) and Justin Forsett (one) out of the backfield. Whatever works. Dalton threw four straight incomplete passes on Team Carter's potential game-winning drive, including this:
Dalton completed nine of 20 passes for 69 yards on the evening.
While four of the six quarterbacks that played on Sunday scored at least two touchdowns, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees sympathized with Dalton and his struggles during the 2015 Pro Bowl.
"You're running a bunch of plays that you don't have a lot of familiarity with and you don’t have a lot of familiarity with the personnel," said Brees via Bengals.com. "Usually in crunch-time situations you know the stuff you know and you want to call and you don’t have access to that and you're kind of at the mercy of what is in the playbook."
On the fourth down play to Olsen, they tried getting the football to the tight end on a go-route but he couldn't break free.
"We got the look trying to be able to wrap around, but (Olsen) wasn't able to get around (Clay) Matthews," Dalton said via Bengals.com. "It’s tight down there (for a go route). We talked about it on the sidelines about Greg on that corner and it just fell a little short."
The critics are out with the usual doom-and-gloom while the defenders deflect another performance with an excuse -- familiarity, preparedness, etc... All the while I sit here and wonder... how can both groups be right and wrong? That's a mind trip.