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Early struggles for Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton

The young Bengals quarterback is trying to find his rhythm, but has struggled early with a handful of errant throws leading to punts.

Andy Lyons

Andy Dalton's early storyline is anxiety, perhaps the result of being amped up for a Monday Night Football game against Cincinnati's greatest rivals. It happens. He's young.

During Cincinnati's first offensive possession, Dalton badly missed tight end Tyler Eifert on second and third down, sailing the football over his head, leading to a three-and-out. Following a badly thrown football on A.J. Green's curl near the left sidelines during Cincinnati's ensuing possession, Dalton began calming down using an assortment of hitch routes and curls to Marvin Jones and A.J. Green.

After three consecutive completions, Dalton sails the football over tight end Jermaine Gresham on third and and ten from the Bengals 42-yard line with 7:14 remaining in the first quarter.

Clearly Dalton is off but his second possession developed some momentum with two first downs and seven plays before the team was forced to punt the football back to Pittsburgh with over seven minutes remaining.