Through three preseason games this year, Andy Dalton completed 15 of 22 passes for 129 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
His pair of interceptions on only 22 pass attempts represents a whopping 9.1% interception rate. Also, the low yards per attempt, plus high interception rate led to a 60.6 preseason quarterback rating.
So, the question is, should Bengals’ fans be concerned?
To put it succinctly – no, we should not be alarmed by preseason statistics.
Looking at Dalton’s career, there is not much to be gained by trying to compare his preseason stats to his regular season stats.
For starters, the sample size is too small. During the last four seasons, Dalton has attempted 44, 38, 34, and 22 passes. That averages out to about one game’s worth of attempts over the entire preseason. And with the variability of performances from week to week, one game’s worth of stats just isn’t enough of a sample size to garner any sort of meaningful prediction for a 16 game season.
Also, consider that Dalton’s best preseason came in 2014, when he threw for 372 yards on an impressive 10.9 yards per attempt. He has zero interceptions on his way to a 116.3 quarterback rating, which was over 30 points higher than any previous preseason rating.
Despite the stellar 2014 preseason, Dalton had one of his worst regular seasons in 2014. He had the fewest touchdown passes and worst interception rate of his career. He also had the worst quarterback rating and lowest touchdown rate since his rookie season.
So what portending omens can we dig from Dalton’s 2015 preseason?
Well, we know that he will be wearing a #14 jersey again. But outside of that, we really can’t tell a whole lot until the season starts Sunday.