Andy Dalton’s Week 3 performance almost churned out a victory for the Bengals, who dropped their third straight game to start the season. Cincinnati eventually lost 21-17 on the road in Buffalo after having the ball on a game-winning drive with minutes to go.
Although Dalton dropped the ball late in the game with the game-sealing interception, it wasn’t just his performance that did Cincinnati in. However, it was his worst game of the season and his first sub-300 yard outing.
Dalton, who is second in the league in passing with almost 1,000 yards, totaled 249 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in Week 3. According to Pro Football Focus, Dalton was in the bottom third of starting Week 3 quarterbacks.
“After a promising start in Week 1, Dalton has struggled over the last two weeks, and he has the 11th-highest rate of uncatchable passes on throws beyond the line of scrimmage. He’s not complementing the misses either, with the 21st-highest rate of positively graded throws and 24th-highest percentage of big-time throws. The pass blocking hasn’t helped — Dalton has faced pressure on 34.0% of his dropbacks so far — but Dalton has managed the 10th-best passer rating when pressured, at 96.1.”
In the Bills-Bengals matchup, Josh Allen was No. 21 and Dalton trailed him at No. 22 in PFF’s ranking. The top overall quarterback in Week 3 was Tom Brady. Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz trailed the player many consider the greatest to ever step on the field.
As for Dalton, after a Week 1 where he threw for over 400 yards, fans expected his thrilling performances to continue. They’ll need that type of dominance to continue throughout the rest of the season if they stand any chance of reaching the playoff in their current 0-3 hole.
Dalton also found a new favorite target in Week 3. Auden Tate, who took over for Damion Willis, neared 100 yards, a team high. He was also targeted double-digit times, another team-high for the former seven-round pick.
While Tate is a weapon for Dalton, hopefully the eventual return of A.J. Green will help spark him back to his Week 1 self.