The Cincinnati Bengals struck gold by drafting Andy Dalton in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. The lockout didn’t hinder him immediately taking over the reins in Cincinnati and leading the Bengals to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. However, as explosive as the Bengals’ offense may seem when AJ Green hauls in a bomb, this unit simply isn’t reaching its full potential and that’s because Cincy’s coaching staff is holding Dalton back.
In his rookie season, Dalton threw 516 passes, which ranked in the bottom half of the league. In his sophomore campaign, he tossed just 528 passes, which was dead center in the ranking among NFL quarterbacks. How can this team expect to win with weapons like Green and Dalton when they aren’t allowed to let loose?
Sure, 600 pass attempts used to be a big deal, but it’s not anymore. Almost half the quarterbacks in the league attempted that many last year. Dalton shouldn’t have to throw that much all the time, but if it’s necessary, go for it. No team should aim to pass the ball more than 30 times in a game, but no team should limit their quarterback’s pass attempts like limiting a pitcher’s pitches in baseball.
That’s not to say Cincinnati has a counter on Dalton, but they definitely were tentative about him just letting loose against opposing defenses last year. If the Bengals want to start winning playoff games instead of just participating, they’re going to have to trust this young singal-caller.