The Bengals’ offense was nothing short of a disaster in 2019, and it paved the way for a 2-14 season and the arrival of No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow.
Burrow is set to replace the departed Andy Dalton, who is now with the Cowboys as a backup making $3 million in 2020. Not exactly franchise quarterback money, but then again, Dalton hasn’t played like one since his memorable 2015 season.
One issue that has often hindered Dalton is the amount of uncatchable passes he throws. He also was the sixth-worst quarterback in 2019 (minim of 128 passes thrown) in completion percentage (59.5%) and fourth-worst in passer rating (78.3).
Of course, that issue was often remedied by having one of the NFL’s most athletic and sure-handed receivers in A.J. Green, who made a lot of highlight-reel catches over the years that the majority of NFL receivers couldn’t make.
But with Green missing all of the 2019 season due to injury, Dalton no longer had his security blanket. That helped lead to him having his worst season as a pro, highlighted by the painfully high number of uncatchable throws he made, as Pro Football Focus notes:
These QB's had the highest % of uncatchable passes in 2019 pic.twitter.com/hArx4LBZPk— PFF (@PFF) July 10, 2020
It just so happens that Burrow was one of the best in college football last season in that very stat:
Uncatchable Inaccurate pass % in 2019:— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 3, 2020
1. Kedon Slovis, USC - 12.1%
2. Tyler Huntley, Utah - 12.7%
3. Joe Burrow, LSU - 13.3%
4. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama - 14.8% pic.twitter.com/GFLaXIt7Xq
Dalton did a lot of good things during his time in Cincinnati, but he never was able to consistently elevate his teammates. Rather, he was more of a product of how good or bad his supporting cast was.
That shouldn’t be the case with Burrow, who just enjoyed arguably the greatest season a college quarterback has ever had. And it will certainly help he should have a healthy A.J. Green next season to go with second-round pick Tee Higgins and veterans Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate and Alex Erickson.
Let’s just hope there’s a 2020 season for them to showcase it.