The Cincinnati Bengals have a great opportunity to win the AFC North this season, which would be their first division championship since 2009. However, in order to accomplish one of many goals they must take advantage when certain moments come up. Not to mention as the leader of the team, quarterback Andy Dalton simply must be better.
Sunday’s loss to the Cleveland Browns came as a shocker to fans in Cincinnati, especially since the Bengals were able to overcome a tough game against the Green Bay Packers the week before. There is no question it was one of Dalton’s worst games of his career, something the signal caller even admitted to.
“I’ve got to be better, I’ve got to put this team in a better position to win this game,” Dalton said, according to ESPN.com. “I didn’t get that done [Sunday].”
The 25-year-old completed just 54.8 percent of his passes for a season-low 206 passing yards and one interception in the loss. He was only able to lead the Bengals to two field goal drives, as the end zone was surprisingly hard to find against a Browns defense that has given up their fair share of touchdowns this season. There is no question the performance was a disappointment for numerous reasons with the biggest of them being the fact that a chance to get a leg up in the division was squandered.
The good news is the offense can be saved by the improvement of its signal caller. Dalton is the key to getting the Bengals to where they want to go in 2013. It is no secret that Cincinnati has high expectations for this year because they have the necessary talent at key positions to get the job done. However, it also is no secret that the play of the quarterback will decide how far the Bengals truly go.
There are simply too many issues on offense right now that must be fixed. The defense is playing at an entirely different level and the only way the team will succeed is if everyone is on the same page. Turnovers, dropped passes and overthrown routes must all come to a screeching halt. It is hard to improve everything at once but it is something that must be done.
Hopefully, Dalton will be able to get the offense back on track against the New England Patriots in Week 5. If anything else, it is a great opportunity for the team to build some confidence with a win.