The Cincinnati Bengals had their second straight playoff game with the Houston Texans this weekend and promptly lost for the second straight year. There were many things wrong with what happened including a very poor performance by quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton had a terrible first half and finished with just 127 passing yards on 14 completions. It is increasingly obvious that Dalton needs more confidence in the playoffs and maybe the last game of the regular season points to what happened this year.
Dalton didn’t play the whole game in Cincinnati’s season finale and got to rest in the second half. It would probably been better for Dalton to stay in the game the whole way and keep his momentum going instead of sitting around watching. You can say it was better to sit Dalton so he doesn’t get hurt but the players are paid for 16 games and not 15 and one half. I hate players sitting in the final game as it is but Dalton needed to be out there the whole game.
Dalton will learn and get better in his third year in the National Football League but getting over the playoff hump has to be Dalton’s No. 1 goal for 2013. Cincinnati can’t get to a Super Bowl until Dalton plays much better in the playoffs. It would probably help if the Bengals didn’t have to play a very good Houston defense again but that shouldn’t matter. Next year becomes a very big year for Dalton in his development and another postseason loss could really kill his confidence for the rest of his career.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.