Nobody could have predicted in 2011 that Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton would help the team reach the playoffs in each of his first two seasons, but that’s exactly been the case so far–even if they failed to make it past the Wild Card round against the Houston Texans both seasons. The two losses have started debate about whether or not the Bengals should be concerned with Dalton being their quarterback considering how much he struggled towards the end of the 2012 season, but there’s no reason for anyone to be making a big deal just yet.
Look at Cincinnati’s situation towards the end of the 2012 season when it comes to Dalton’s options in the passing game. Despite the Bengals having one of the top up-and-coming wide receivers the league has to offer in A.J. Green, Dalton didn’t have the most consistent options in the passing game other than Jermaine Gresham.
Players like Mohamed Sanu and Andrew Hawkins showed potential at times, but they’re still far from being anywhere close to being reliable options for Dalton on a consistent basis. If these two players can manage to step it up in the passing game heading into 2013, there’s no reason why Dalton’s numbers shouldn’t improve next season.
The only reason why anyone is making a big deal about Dalton is because of the comparison to other quarterbacks (Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson for example) that Cincinnati could have missed out on that could have been better options. Only time will tell if that does end up being true, but there’s no reason for any concern about Dalton as the team’s franchise quarterback in the future.
It says a lot about Dalton when it comes to reaching the playoffs in each of his first two seasons as the Bengals starter–so let’s stop all of the reasons for concern heading into 2013.
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