Typically, when a team brings in a quarterback drafted after the first round and starts him pronto, the leash will be rather short — especially compared to someone like a No. 1 overall pick in Sam Bradford. If the quarterback isn’t performing well over the course of two years and and the investment in said quarterback does not saddle the team in any tremendous way, then moving on is far more likely.
However, what makes the case with Andy Dalton interesting is that while his play was about as uneven in 2012 than it was in his rookie year, the team keeps winning and making the postseason, before bowing out with a horrific offensive performance against the Houston Texans in the wild-card round.
Cincy will enter the 2013 season with some of the same old targets in AJ Green, Jermaine Gresham and Co., but with new rookie faces that could help Dalton mightily. The additions of tight end Tyler Eifert in Round 1 and receiving-capable tailback Gio Bernard in the second round make this offense all that more intriguing, as it already possessed an elite pass-blocking unit.
Yet, the Bengals are only getting 8.5 season win total in Vegas and a +200 to win the AFC North title along with middle-of-the-pack 45-to-1 Super Bowl odds. The latter two making perfect sense to me, but the 8.5 following two playoff appearances is certainly an interesting line considering how many wins they pile up each regular season.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is merely for the purpose of generating analytical discussion of the NFL.