The Cincinnati Bengals are moving back to the player that’s led them for almost a decade. As you may have heard, the Red Rifle, Andy Dalton, will lead the team into battle against the New York Jets in Week 13.
Dalton, after throwing nine touchdowns and eight interceptions in the team’s first eight games, was benched for fourth-round pick Ryan Finley.
To be fair, Finley’s poor play has shown the front office that Dalton may not have been the problem. A wild guess is that the offensive line and lack of weapons out wide play a large part. Again, just a guess.
At the time of his initial benching, there was some displeasure in Dalton’s camp as the news broke on the day of the trade deadline, giving his agent little time orchestrate any trade.
Obviously still winless, the Bengals have had two pristine opportunities the past few weeks. They lost by seven to Oakland and then six to Pittsburgh, two games which the offense scored just 20 points combined.
The defense has stepped up in a big way, holding both their last two opponents to under 20 points, but the offense just isn’t there.
While all the blame cannot solely be put on Finley, he will be the scapegoat. After all, he does have just two touchdowns and two interceptions while failing to hit over 200 yards in any of his three starts.
The Bengals just want to win.
They’ll go down as the third team in NFL history to end a season 0-16 if they fail in these next five weeks. That’s not how head coach Zac Taylor wants to start his tenure in Cincinnati.
When asked if Dalton gives the team the best chance to win one of their final five games, Taylor gave a forward response, highlighting why the team is making the change.
“Yeah, we just want to win. That veteran presence he has will certainly be helpful through all the things we’ve been experiencing so far on offense. He has great experience. Again, we’re facing a challenging coordinator this week who has a lot of experience in this league at really challenging guys. Andy will help us prepare for that. We’ve always known Andy is a great quarterback. We made the change for the reasons we needed to. It’s time to give him another opportunity,” Taylor said according to a team report.
The Bengals want to win, and with the return of A.J. Green on the horizon, they may finally be able to do that. Fans should be marginally more confident with Dalton under center, especially as they face the Jets and Dolphins in the coming weeks.