Is it time for the Bengals to move on from Andy Dalton
By: Sam Ouhaj
The Cincinnati Bengals currently sit on an 0-3 record under first-year coach, Zac Taylor. The Bengals have had two close losses against the Buffalo Bills(17-21) and the Seattle Seahawks(20-21), but got annihilated by the San Francisco 49ers(17-41).
Zac Taylor is a disciple of Sean McVay and when Cincinnati moved on from head coach, Marvin Lewis, this past offseason, Taylor was their guy. Taylor brings a lot of dynamic elements to this Cincinnati offense, but it seems quarterback, Andy Dalton, might be holding this team back.
Dalton hasn't had a bad start through the first three weeks of the season; with a 62.8% completion rating, 979 yards passing( 418 yards against Seattle), 5 TDs, 3 picks, and a quarterback rating of 89.3. These numbers are not poor by any means but the Bengals are still 0-3.
Andy Dalton is currently 31 years old and has 2 years remaining on his 6 year, 96 million dollar contract extension that he signed before the 2014 season. During Dalton’s tenure, he has led the Bengals to 0 playoff wins in 5 wild card appearances, with their last appearance on January 9th, 2016 against the Steelers.
Andy Dalton shouldn't be discredited with his 3 pro bowl appearances in 2011, 2014, and 2016. However, since his last appearance, the Bengals are 12-18 when Dalton starts and he has no Pro Bowl appearances over that span. The Bengals have also finished on average 3rd in their division.
Dalton experienced a right thumb injury against Cleveland during Week 11 last year and was shut down for the season. The Bengals are on pace to finish 5-12 and with a top 5 pick in this year's NFL draft. Cincinnati will win more games than the Miami Dolphins, who are currently tanking the year away, but they will lose enough games to where they can still have a top pick.
There are a few names that could flash to Bengals fans with quarterbacks such as Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert. However, there is one name who sticks out and that is Jake Fromm from Georgia. Fromm has had a great career in the SEC, in which he made the National Championship during the 2017-2018 season, but lost to Alabama, 23-26.
Fromm would be an excellent fit in Taylor’s offense with his ability to throw from the pocket accurately and run when needed. He may not be as talented as Tua, but if drafted by the Bengals, he could be the heir to the throne in Cincinnati.
It should be noted that the Bengals drafted Quarterback, Ryan Finely, in this year's draft during the 4th round, but if the opportunity presents itself, don't expect Michael Brown and the Bengals front office to pass on a top QB.
Andy Dalton will always be loved by Bengals fans after replacing Carson Palmer in 2011, but his time may soon be up if the season does not turn around. There is talent all over the Bengals offense with Joe Mixon, A.J. Green (who is rehabbing an ankle injury), and John Ross III, but if Andy Dalton cannot get the offense running, do you trust the season to go anywhere?
The schedule partially lightens up for the Bengals with their next two games against the Steelers (who lost Ben Roethlisberger for the season) and a weak Arizona Cardinals defense. But after those two games, Cincinnati has tough matchups against the Ravens, Jaguars, Rams, and Ravens again. We will see where Dalton and Taylor take Cincinnati, but if it goes nowhere, maybe it is time to move on from the “Red Rifle”.