AJ McCarron finally got a regular-season snap for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Late in the team’s blowout loss to the Chicago Bears, McCarron came in to relieve Andy Dalton, who had one of his worst outings of the season. Dalton finished the game completing 14 of 29 passes for 141 yards (4.9 avg.) and one touchdown with one interception. He also had several other passes that could have been intercepted, making it an easy call for the Bengals to bench him late in this blowout.
It’s very rare for the Bengals to play McCarron, even in blowouts, so the fact that he appeared in this game not only shows how bad the team looked, but also how poorly Dalton had played to that point.
In most instances, Dalton has played well enough for the Bengals to play him for four full quarters, but this time, they finally gave in and played McCarron.
In just a couple of possessions of work, McCarron completed four of eight passes for 47 (5.9 avg.) and no touchdowns or interceptions.
There was nothing McCarron did that suggests he’ll be any better or worse than Dalton if the Bengals want to change quarterbacks in their final three games. However, just allowing McCarron to play for several drives does open the door for a move to be made.
If anything, the Bengals should play McCarron to save Dalton, who they’re intent on keeping as their franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future. Playing McCarron over the final three games will keep Dalton from getting hurt, thus preserving him for the entire 2018 offseason, which hopefully is spent getting used to a new coach and a new offensive coordinator.