Bengals Aren't Tanking by Going With Veteran Andy Dalton Against the Jets
Judging from their decision for starting quarterback this week, the Cincinnati Bengals are all-in on trying to get a win against the New York Jets. This seems like a team that wants nothing to do with tanking.
The Bengals announced on Monday that Andy Dalton will get the nod this Sunday, the veteran winning back the job over rookie Ryan Finley. It has been a difficult year for the Bengals all around, but the lackluster quarterback play has gone hand-in-hand with a myriad of issues on offense.
It likely isn’t fair to blame Dalton entirely for the Bengals being the worst total offense and lowest scoring offense in the league. And to expect much from a fourth round pick in Finley is a fool’s errand.
Dalton, despite his flaws and drop in production, unquestionably gives Cincinnati their best bet at beating the Jets on Sunday, according to head coach Zac Taylor. And for the 0-11 Bengals, a win is long overdue.
“Yeah, we just want to win. That veteran presence he has will certainly be helpful through all the things we’ve been experiencing so far on offense,” Taylor said Monday in his press conference with the local media.
“He has great experience. Again, we’re facing a challenging coordinator this week who has a lot of experience in this league at really challenging guys. Andy will help us prepare for that. We’ve always known Andy is a great quarterback. We made the change for the reasons we needed to. It’s time to give him another opportunity.”
The Jets have won three straight games heading into Cincinnati. On the flip side, the Bengals have lost their last two games narrowly, each game by less than a touchdown.
When asked if going with the established Dalton hurts the Bengals draft stock, Taylor simply said that “I’ll let those people say that. We just want to win.”
Dalton has been the Bengals starting quarterback in eight of their losses this year. He has completed just a shade over 60% of his passes for 2,252 yards for nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The Jets are coming off a strong performance last week in a 34-3 win over the Oakland Raiders (who the Bengals narrowly lost to 17-10 two weeks ago).
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was benched in the third quarter of the blowout loss, putting up a frustrating 15-for-27 for 127 yards with an interception. Carr was sacked just once but a combination of good pressure from the Jets and outstanding downfield coverage contributed to a frustrating afternoon for the Raiders offense.