The Cincinnati Bengals have to be liking their position in the NFL’s American Football Conference North Division after Sunday’s 41-20 win over the Cleveland Browns, that puts them at 7-4 overall. They also must like the fact that quarterback Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes including two during a 31-point second quarter.
What they can’t like, as they’re looking ahead, is that Dalton threw two passes that were intercepted by Joe Haden, including one in the first quarter returned for a touchdown.
Dalton and the Bengals offense were able to come back and dominate the game, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea if Dalton could eliminate the mental mistakes. After all, the Bengals don’t play the Browns every week so they need to be more disciplined.
Dalton didn’t have a great day passing – although he really didn’t have to. He was 13-of-27 for 93 yards. He did have better games in previous weeks on the road stat-wise against the Miami Dolphins with 32 completions for 338 yards and against the Baltimore Ravens with 24 completions for 274 yards. Ironically, those were both in losses and Dalton was still heavily criticized for performances that didn’t produce wins. Dalton had a letdown against the Browns, but the Bengals had other weapons they were able to use to secure a very important win.
Dalton can’t have any more off games for the rest of the season. The Bengals need him to stay sharp and cut down on the interceptions for the remainder of the year. If they’re to make a decent run in the playoffs, and if they run up against the likes of the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs, it will be up to Dalton to have the best passing games of his career.