The Cincinnati Bengals have been a mess this season.
The only one-win team left in the NFL, the Bengals have a two-game lead for the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. With an away game against the Dolphins and a home game against the Browns left, it’s still possible they lose their place at the top with back-to-back victories.
That said, should the Bengals opt to start Jake Dolegala against the Miami Dolphins instead of long-time starter Andy Dalton?
Dalton was benched earlier this season after eight straight losses. In his return to starting in Week 13, Dalton led the Bengals to their only victory against the Jets. Between his two tenures as the starter, the Bengals opted to put Ryan Finley, their fourth-round pick, under center.
The Bengals had high hopes for Finley after a solid preseason in which he showed composure and solid arm strength.
However, Finley threw for 474 yards and two touchdowns in three starts. He also had two interceptions. Finley will likely get another chance in the NFL, but during his three starts, he struggled enough to allow Dalton back as the team’s leader.
In last week’s performance against the Patriots, Dalton threw for 151 yards and four interceptions, giving management a good reason to put him back on the bench, but this time around, it should be Dolegala getting the start.
Dalton may give the Bengals their best chance at victory, but in their last two games of the 2019 season, winning isn’t what matters. Figuring out if they have their franchise quarterback on their current roster is what matters.
The 23-year-old rookie had a stellar preseason yet hasn’t seen snaps under center this season. He was added after the team’s second preseason game; the team released Jeff Driskel who later signed with the Detroit Lions.
During the team’s last two preseason games, Dolegala threw for 37 completions on 53 attempts. He totaled 347 and two touchdowns while not throwing a single pick. That said, he deserves a chance.
With nothing lose and with management hopefully wanting to drop this game, the Bengals should give Dolegala the start, assuming they want the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.