Andy Dalton had one of the worst performances of his career this past Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. His three interceptions were the most he had thrown since Week 3 of the 2018 NFL season.
This game has many fans wondering why head coach Zac Taylor hasn’t given NC State rookie Ryan Finley a shot. After all, why it may not have been his worst outing of his nine-year career, it certainly contained the worst 20-second stretch of it.
Dalton threw a pick six in the fourth quarter and then another interception the very next offensive play. These back-to-back interceptions theoretically sealed the deal for Cincinnati in a game which they were leading 10-9 entering the fourth.
However, the team’s head coach and offensive coordinator are not ready to solely blame Andy Dalton for the team’s struggles. That said, Taylor recently added both his receivers and every offensive player on the list of those that must be better.
“It’s easy to point the finger at the quarterback, but I don’t see it that way. I’ve coached that position for a long time. I know its human nature to do it that way, but everyone has to step up. There were a lot of 50/50 opportunities for the receivers yesterday. They’ve got to step up and make some plays, too,” Zac Taylor said according to Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson.
Here’s what offensive coordinator Brian Callahan had to say on the situation the Bengals have put veteran quarterback Andy Dalton in.
“Is it realistic to ask any quarterback in the NFL outside of two or three to drop back and carry a team given our struggles? It’s probably not very realistic. He fights and he does it every week as best as he can. He could be better in certain aspects, but that’s a tall task. That’s a lot to ask of anybody.”
It’s quite the conversation to be had.
Yes, the offensive line must be better. Yes, the wide receivers had chances at many of the throws from Dalton. But, ultimately, the blame goes to the leader and usually it’s rightfully so.
Dalton must be better, and he’s proven, even this season, that he can be.
In London against the Los Angeles Rams, Dalton will taking on another top-tier secondary in LA, a unit that just added former All-Pro corner Jalen Ramsey. It’s likely Sunday will be another tough outing for Dalton.