QB Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
HT: 6-2, WT: 215, Born: 10-29-1987, College: TCU, Drafted: Round 2
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Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full ADP list]Overall: J Gresham (121), D Harris (122), Andy Dalton (123), A Boldin (125)
Position: M Vick (111-QB15), J Flacco (113-QB16), Andy Dalton (123 - QB17), J Freeman (134-QB18), P Rivers (143-QB19)
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|1||at Chicago Bears|
|3||Green Bay Packers|
|4||at Cleveland Browns|
|5||New England Patriots|
|6||at Buffalo Bills|
|7||at Detroit Lions|
|8||New York Jets|
|9||at Miami Dolphins|
|10||at Baltimore Ravens|
|13||at San Diego Chargers|
|15||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Dalton was efficient in the first half before the Bengals fell far behind and he had to resort to forcing throws. His passes were crisp but it did seem that he had trouble getting in sync with Jermaine Gresham and Armon Binns on many downfield routes. To his credit, Dalton did not often try to force the ball to the well-covered AJ Green, choosing instead to settle for short completions to Andrew Hawkins. Dalton was under pressure much of the night but stood tall in the pocket, trusting the protection around him. Dalton's best pass came on a 19 yard completion down the middle of the field to AJ Green. On the play, Dalton stepped up in the pocket to buy time for his receiver before lofting a well-thrown pass between two defenders for a large gain. The Bengals offense was rarely aggressive down the middle of the field, owing both the Ravens constant pass rush and the presence of Ed Reed at safety. The Bengals will likely make adjustments in the coming weeks so they can take more calculated risks downfield. Once the Ravens pulled away in the second half, Dalton simply had no way to gain large chunks of yardage through the air.
Week 2 - As good as Daltonís line was, it was really more an extension of his receivers making plays and the Browns porous secondary than anything else. Dalton got off to a rough start in the first quarter, overthrowing A.J. Green on a deep ball by a good seven yards and throwing well behind Jermaine Gresham on third down. The only receiver he seemed to be on the same page with early was Armon Binns and he made a nice touch throw down the left sideline to Binns for a 20 yard gain down the left sideline. His first touchdown pass came on an excellent play by Green who caught the ball at the 4 and then just beat his man into the end zone. Binns bailed Dalton out later in the quarter by turning a 50/50 ball on a slant into an 18 yard gain by simply ripping the ball out of the hands of the defender. Dalton finished that drive by overthrowing first Andrew Hawkins and then AJ Green in the end zone, both of whom were open. After overthrowing Green again deep in the third quarter, Dalton perfectly placed a ball down the right sideline to Ben Tate who raced into the end zone for a 44 yard touchdown. Daltonís interception came on a horrible throw 3-4 yards behind Gresham on a slant that was tipped in the air and then picked off by Jackson. Daltonís final touchdown pass in the 4th quarter was all Hawkins. Hawkins caught a short pass in the middle of the field and made an array of moves to take it all the way to the end zone, turning an 8 yard throw into a 50 yard touchdown pass.
Week 3 - Following a clunker on Monday Night Football against the Ravens and a commanding victory against the Browns at home, Dalton authored his best game of the 2012 season against the Redskins. Benefiting from a fairly spotless pocket and a Swiss cheese Washington secondary Ė the Redskins were thirty-first in passing yards allowed going into this game Ė Dalton carved up the Redskins for three hundred and twenty-eight yards Ė a season-high Ė completing nineteen of his twenty-seven pass attempts. The four-year starter from TCU looked comfortable all day at FedEx Field, hitting his receivers in stride and exuding veteran cool as an NFL sophomore. The Bengals kept Dalton protected, as he only took two sacks for a total loss of sixteen yards. Dalton added sixteen yards on the ground with two carries.
Dalton has had successful games in the past. In fact, he threw three touchdown passes with over three hundred yards passing in Week Two against the Browns. Yet, he simply appeared on another level in Sundayís road game. While Mohamed Sanu can lay claim to the gameís longest passing touchdown, Dalton had two sizable scoring passes himself. His sleek strike to wideout Armon Binns on second-and-twenty would have likely been good enough for a first down, but cornerback Josh Wilson absolutely whiffed covering Binns, who streaked up the field for a forty-eight yard touchdown. Arguably more impressive was Daltonís vision in finding receiver Andrew Hawkins. Dalton hit Hawkins in stride up the middle of the field, and the speed merchant took it to the house to give Cincinnati a fourteen-point lead in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the quarter, Dalton hit his reliable tight end Jermaine Gresham in the red zone for a six yard score. Greshamís incredible effort in shaking multiple defenders helped pad Daltonís statistics for the day.
Daltonís sole interception was a puzzling one, at least from a play-calling perspective. At their own two yard line, the Bengals called for a running back screen to BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Green Ellis rolled right and Dalton floated a pass his way. Whether Dalton did not put enough speed on his throw, Green-Ellis did not approach the ball quick enough, or Redskins linebacker Rob Jackson simply read the play well, Jackson intercepted Dalton and took it to the house. Naturally, the Bengals wanted to reduce the risk of Dalton getting sacked for a safety by getting the ball out quickly, but a screen pass in the end zone was a sizable gamble. While the Bengals are not necessarily a pass-first team Ė they had a dead-even play-calling split against the Redskins Ė they understandably have a tremendous amount of confidence in Andy Dalton in opening up the playbook. Dalton was efficient in hitting his receivers in stride. He was patient and allowed plays to develop, rarely forcing the ball to a particular receiver. He used his legs if necessary. He appeared unafraid to emerge from the pocket and extend plays if they appeared to fall apart. Against a questionable pass defense in the Redskins, it is easy to conclude why a talented signal-caller had his best game of the season.
Week 4 - Dalton got off to a rocky start, throwing an interception on his first throw and nearly another in the first quarter. Both throws were questionable decisions in addition to lacking balance when interior pressure pushed him back in the pocket. Luckily, Cincinnati got the ball right back as the interception return resulted in a fumble. After struggling with pressure and inaccuracy early in the game, Dalton found his groove. Play-action passing facilitated Daltonís comfort level, as well as throwing the ball up to A.J. Green in single coverage. Greenís ball skills were a major factor in Daltonís final numbers. Dalton nearly had a third passing touchdown on a red zone throw to Armon Binns, which was nearly caught. Dalton also benefited from a rare rushing touchdown on a sneak at the goal line after Green-Ellis was stuffed on a first down attempt. Dalton showed his improved arm strength on a number of occasions in this game and continues to be a great backup fantasy quarterback that can start when needed with a good matchup.
Week 5 - Sunday was a day to forget for Andy Dalton and the Bengal offense. Despite only registering three sacks, the pressure from Dolphins talented front obviously bothered Dalton as nearly all his throws downfield were well off target. Dalton was still able to connect with A.J. Green nine times, but their longest connection was only 18 yards and it came on a back shoulder throw (the only such connection despite numerous attempts on the same throw). Dalton was forced to work underneath for the majority of the game as his 5.4 yards a completion would suggest. Daltonís best throw was his TD pass to Green early in the 4th quarter, a beautifully executed three-yard fade where Dalton perfectly dropped the pass over the pressed corner. It wasnít the easiest of catches for Green, but that had to do more with the coverage from corner Sean Smith than Daltonís throw. Dalton threw two INTs, one on a tremendous play from DE Randy Starks, who snatched the pass just off the line of scrimmage (99/100 times it is merely batted down). The 2nd, however, was more on Dalton on the Bengalís final drive. Facing a 2nd and 20, Dalton tried to force it into Andrew Hawkins between the corner and safety Reshad Jones. Dalton completely airmailed it (easy to do when throwing to a 5í 7Ē WR over the middle) and Jones made the easy pick to end the game. Dalton had two other near INTs; one, which if the out was thrown accurately to Hawkins would have been six going the other way. Dalton locked into Hawkins immediately, whose route was a bit lazy and Nolan Carroll crashed the route, just missing the INT. Earlier in the game Dalton was flushed from the pocket and as he scrambled to his right he tried to throw back across his body to Green deep down the middle of the field, into double coverage. The ball ultimately fell incomplete, but it was a dangerous throw and Smith nearly brought the INT down at midfield. Dalton was 2nd on the team in rushing, but that had more to do with the ineptness of the running game (21 yards on four carries) and Miamiís NFL leading rush defense than anything else.
Week 6 - Andy Dalton's second-season struggles continued in Cleveland as the Bengals fell to defeat against the Browns. Dalton opened the game with short, simple throws. His first attempt was batted down on a bootleg, while his second was a poorly placed football that Andrew Hawkins did well to catch. However there was nothing wrong with his third pass that ultimately turned into a 50+ yard touchdown. Dalton hit Gresham in stride running a slant pattern before he beat two defenders for the score. Dalton threw two other touchdown passes to AJ Green. The first was a well executed floated pass to him in the back of the endzone, while the second was a perfectly thrown deep ball very late in the game. Outside of those throws however, Dalton didn't have much to be happy about. On second and 13,Dalton threw an out route to AJ Green that was completed for six yards. At first it looked like Dalton had fit the pass into a very tight window, but the replay showed that Green had done brilliantly to fight back for the football and snatch it off the finger tips of Buster Skrine. Skrine should have caught it first. Dalton was nearly picked by Joe Haden on the sideline after he scrambled to his right outside of the pocket and tried to power a pass to Armon Binns standing at the first down marker. Haden attacked the ball ahead of Binns who didn't appear to think his quarterback would try to force that throw. Dalton was fortunate with a floated pass over the middle of the field that AJ Green adjusted well to in order to catch the ball and prevent a turnover. Dalton underthrew a sideline route to AJ Green in single coverage that was nearly intercepted by Joe Haden. Dalton was finally intercepted when he was flushed from the pocket before trying to find AJ Green running across the field. Green was tightly covered and the ball went through his hands after he failed to properly adjust to the flight of the ball. The ball landed in Joe Haden's hands behind the intended receiver. It's hard to blame Dalton, but it's also difficult to blamme Green who didn't know that Haden was behind him. It would have been smarter to throw the ball away, but the duo had a chance to connect. Sheldon Brown intercepted him again but this time brought it back for a touchdown. Dalton trusted Brandon Tate to beat Brown to a spot on a slant route, but Tate didn't do enough and Brown caught it in stride. With the Bengals fighting back late in the fourth quarter, Dalton overthrew a jump ball between Haden and Green in the endzone, before being sacked and losing the ball to Billy Wynn on the next play that sealed the victory for the Browns. Dalton was intercepted finally on a meaningless hail mary to finish the game.
Week 7 - Dalton had a long day against a revitalized Steelers defense. Despite missing Troy Polamalu in the secondary, Pittsburgh was able to clog passing lanes efficiently and limit the amount of time Dalton had in the pocket. As a result, Cincinatti's second year quarterback was forced to make throws in to tight spaces or while off balance. Dalton completed only 50% of his passes and focused primarily on short routes across the middle of the field and to his outlet receivers. The Steeler defense dropped four or five men in to coverage on virtually every passing down and effectively utilized a combination of zone and man coverage on AJ Green and Andrew Hawkins in a largely successful effort to keep the Bengals from opening up a downfield passing game. Despite targeting AJ Green and Andrew Hawkins 11 times, the pair only combined for three catches with neither being fully in to their routes by the time Dalton had passed the ball. Dalton's best success came on quick passes up the seam to tight end Jermaine Gresham or Ryan Whalen, both of whom ran a number of quick routes in the middle of the field in an effort to force the Steelers' linebackers to drop back in to coverage. Aside from having to get rid of the ball quickly, Dalton had accuracy issues as well. On a number of longer throws he overthrew his intended target and he lacked touch on some shorter throws that would have led to quality gains. Dalton's interception came on a quick toss to the middle intended for Whalen that was picked out of the air by Lamar Woodley as the Bengals were threatening to cross mid-field. As a result of the intercept Dalton's lone touchdown came on first down after a Ben Roethlisberger fumble. On the play, Dalton quickly found AJ Green to the right side on a quick pass. Green deftly caught the ball in tight coverage and dove in to the end zone for the score. The pass was perhaps Dalton's best on the day as he recognized that Green was in single coverage and there would be room for him to work towards the middle of the end zone. The pass was thrown low to a place that only Green could catch it.
Week 9 - Daltonís game against Denver was a mixed bag of top-notch throws and questionable decision-making. He made some strong stick throws amidst being pressured consistently and then would make some plain bad decisions and late throws. While Dalton escaped the first half without an interception on his stat sheet, there were plenty of questionable deliveries. He was late multiple times when throwing sideline routes, with at least two being possible interceptions. Dalton and A.J. Green again connected on a long reception, this week against Champ Bailey. Dalton has not been shy about throwing it up for his talented receiver to make a play, regardless of the caliber of the cornerback in coverage. In the third quarter, Dalton had his best string of playmaking. He made a great cut on a first down scramble, hit Green with a tremendous fade route throw, and made a strong throw when fading to his left on a 52-yard gain to Jermaine Gresham. For about a quarter, it was Dalton at his best as Cincinnati rebounded to take the temporary lead. After dealing well with the defensive pressure in the third quarter, Dalton reverted to his first half play in the final minutes. Dalton was sacked on third down in field goal range on two separate drives and threw another should-have-been-interception. His lone Ďwowí play late in the game came on a back-foot throw to Green on third-and-15. It was a big-time deep throw at a crucial moment. The play was negated by a back-breaking holding penalty, forcing Cincinnati into another, even longer, third down situation. Dalton then throws a pass up for grabs to Green in triple coverage, a tall task for even the elite receiver, which was off-target and ultimately an interception. That series of events essentially ended the Bengalsí hopes for the win and sent Dalton into garbage time mode down by two scores late in the fourth quarter. Dalton shows the tools to be a top passing quarterback in the league at times, but lacks the consistency on a game-to-game or even a series-to-series basis. The run game has failed to be the foundation of the offense most games, which means success, will often come down to Daltonís ability to handle pressure and make more big-time throws. He did those two things well for less than half the game against Denver this week.
Week 10 - Andy Dalton made some terrific throws on Sunday against the Giants but also took advantage of some dreadful mistakes by the Giants who put forth a feeble effort. Dalton began the game with a bang as he hooked up with WR Green for a 50+ yard touchdown pass from the start. The Giants completely blew the coverage however, as the safety for NYG did not pick up Green as he was streaking alone down the field. Dalton almost had another touchdown on a short field to Green but simply had too much air on the ball. However, he made up for this by getting a second touchdown pass to WR Hawkins. Hawkins made a terrific one handed catch in the redzone before turning it upfield for the score despite good coverage. Dalton has matured as a QB and had confidence to throw the ball up high to WR Sanu on a curl route despite the close coverage from NYG. Dalton also showed patience and an ability to extend the play by rolling out and converting a 4th and 2 situation with the pass. It looked like Dalton had his third TD pass shortly after as he found his WR in the endzone but the WR was just out of bounds and they had to settle for the field goal. Dalton had excellent pass protection for most of the game and the Giants pass rush was neutralised. Dalton had his third touchdown with a perfect pass on a post route in the endzone to TE Gresham. Dalton finished the day with his final TD pass into another short window to find WR Sanu, putting the ball perfectly in his WRís hands. Dalton was helped by excellent field position due to NYG turnovers but did well to execute the plays with terrific accuracy and convert the chances into touchdowns and not settling for field goals.
Week 11 - Dalton was not as sharp as he has been in weeks past but did put up a strong performance from a fantasy standpoint. Dalton didnít complete anything downfield in the first quarter, but his receivers did a nice job picking up enough yardage on the underneath routes to keep the chains moving. After twice overthrowing A.J. Green open down the right sideline, Dalton connected with the star receiver late in the first quarter for the teamís first touchdown. On the play Dalton threw a 4 yard fade into double coverage and Green rewarded him by making a spectacular grab and toe-tap. Dalton connected with Green down the right sideline for a 40 yard gain to start the teamís next drive and then finished the drive with a 1 yard touchdown run on a naked bootleg. The Bengals were more about ball control in the second half with a lot of short passes and runs. Dalton struggled a little with his accuracy but made a perfect pass near the end of the quarter to Ben Tate for a 24 yard gain. After another well thrown ball on the right sideline to Green, Dalton connected with Mohamed Sanu on a short slant and Sanu took it 14 yards to the end zone.
Week 12 - The Oakland defense did little to slow down the Bengals offense in the first half as Cincinnati built a three possession lead. Dalton was on-point for the opening two quarters, converting 6-of-8 third downs and amassing 289 total yards. Dalton ran the no-huddle straight down the field on a 13-play, 89-yard drive for a touchdown in the second quarter that shows what this offense can do when controlling the line of scrimmage. Despite Daltonís strong first half, he did leave some plays on the field. He missed A.J. Green on a potential big play down the sidelines as well as Marvin Jones on a deep route. At halftime, Oakland did make some defensive adjustments that slowed the Bengals offense and made the game more competitive into the fourth quarter. Dalton and the passing offense were not as aggressive in the third quarter specifically as Oakland was able to pressure the quarterback more often. Dalton seemed to freeze on two plays in the second half, taking sacks that were completely avoidable with quicker decision-making in the pocket. After four straight three-and-outs, Dalton finally got on track to clinch the game in the fourth quarter with big-time throws. Dalton was the centerpiece of a full-on melee in the fourth quarter between the two teams. After an inadvertent whistle negated a potential Oakland defensive touchdown, Lamar Houston took Dalton to the ground after a false start whistle stopped the next play. Offensive lineman Andre Whitworth came to the defense of his quarterback and the fight ensued. Both players and Tommy Kelly, who left the Oakland bench for the altercation, were ejected after order was restored. Daltonís finest effort came on the subsequent third-and-long on a deep target to A.J. Green. While Green made an elite play on the ball against double coverage, Daltonís throw was out in front and gave his receiver the best chance to make a play. That play sealed the game as Cincinnati was able to grind out a comfortable win. Despite just 30 attempts, Dalton found Green for multiple long gains and Sanu for two short touchdowns. Dalton has been one of the fantasy surprises at quarterback this season with multiple touchdowns in 7-of-11 games, including five games of three or more scores. The Eagles in Week 14 mark his best remaining matchup as a quarterback-by-committee member.
Week 13 - Dalton didnít put up eye-popping stats in the game and this wasnít one of his better performances, but for the most part he did get the job done when his team needed him to. The Chargers did a good job applying pressure early on, repeatedly forcing Dalton from the pocket. He didnít throw a single pass with his feet set on the entire opening drive. Still, he did a good job of moving the ball downfield. The Chargers bailed out the Bengals with a defensive hold on fourth down, which kept the drive alive and enabled Dalton to find TE Jermaine Gresham with a deep ball down the sideline for the easy score. Soon after, Dalton made a terrible read. He was looking for WR A.J. Green on the slant, but didnít see the defender right in his way to pick the ball off. It was returned for a touchdown by the Chargers, and was Daltonís first interception in 106 pass attempts. Dalton again made an erratic play later in the first half when he had a wide open Green breaking for the corner of the end zone. Dalton sailed the pass well over his head for what should have been an easy score. However, he settled down a bit after that. On a designed flea-flicker to Green, the QB noticed the primary option was covered up. Rather than forcing it downfield into coverage, he checked it down to WR Marvin Jones for 16 big yards. It is sometimes difficult to not let loose on a flea-flicker because of the upside behind the call, but Dalton displayed veteran poise in that situation. There were a couple more hiccups in the second half for Dalton, though not all was his fault. The pass that should have been intercepted was a terrible decision to force a ball that essentially floated towards the sideline. It was all but intercepted, but WR Andrew Hawkins managed to knock it away to save Dalton from a pick. But the football gods evened things out soon after that. Dalton threw one down the middle to Jones that should have been caught for a first down, but instead the receiver allowed it to bounce off his fingertips and go right into the waiting arms of a San Diego defender for an interception. With the Bengals trailing late in the game, Dalton engineered a 55-yard scoring drive to take the lead. Granted, a lot of the work was done on the ground but Dalton still completed all five of his pass attempts on the drive for 36 yards. He even ran a 1-yard sneak to convert a critical 3rd and 1 play. And most impressively of all, with the team facing a 2nd and goal from the 6-yard line, Dalton dropped back to pass. Just as quickly as he dropped back, he tucked the ball away and scrambled up the middle. Diving towards the end zone, he barely got over the line with what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.
Week 14 - Although Andy Dalton didn't face the pressure Tony Romo did on the day (even though he was sacked more on the day), he too was plagued by drops and some bad decisions. Dalton's lone touchdown came on a designed shovel-type pass to Andrew Hawkins, which was really more a function of good vision by Hawkins and good blocking than a good throw by Dalton. Regardless, it shows up on the stat sheet as a passing touchdown. Dalton's interception was a terrible decision on a throw to A.J. Green that Brandon Carr easily intercepted for a nice runback. Dalton rolled out to his right and floated one up when he should have just chucked the ball away. Though he didn't throw any more interceptions, Dalton did leave yards on the field with some inaccurate throws here and there. Two drops that really hurt Dalton were surprisingly by A.J. Green. The first was an easy touchdown on a slant route that Green didn't look into his hands. The second would have converted a key 3rd and 7, and while not a blatant drop, it was definitely a catchable ball, especially for a receiver of Green's caliber. Two of Dalton's sacks came on 3rd downs, but none of the sacks on the day were his fault so much as good plays by Cowboys defenders.
Week 15 - Philadelphiaís toothless pass rush got fitted for some proverbial dentures between Weeks Fourteen and Fifteen, and that made for a rough night for the second-year quarterback from TCU. Dalton threw for a Christian Ponderesque one hundred and twenty-seven yards, completing thirteen of twenty-seven attempts. He also took an eye-opening six sacks for a loss of thirty-five yards, turning the ball over twice in the process. Granted, the game script did not ask too much of Dalton on a short week against the Eagles. Philadelphia was, without a doubt, feeling the spirit of the season and turned the ball over to the Bengals an incredible five times, routinely giving Cincinnati a short field. Making great strides on his second go-round through the league, Dalton appeared to severely regress against an Eagles defense that many left for dead. He looked skittish in the pocket, holding on to the ball too long and pump faking too many times on several plays. The ball did not come out of his hand quickly, and often Daltonís indecisiveness drove him to checking down or getting sacked. His long pass of the evening came on a nineteen-yard screen pass to Jermaine Gresham, one of only three skill players who caught a pass from Dalton. As previously mentioned, though, not much was required of Dalton, with the Bengals often setting up shop in Eagle territory after a Philadelphia turnover. Dalton did find an open lane in the Philadelphia red zone for an eleven-yard touchdown run, and he and A.J. Green still hooked up for a touchdown on a fade pass Ė and came close to another on the Bengalsí previous possession. Chalk the Red Riderís performance up to a short-week and look-ahead games as the Bengals gear up to play their AFC North rivals in the seasonís final weeks.
Week 16 - Dalton opened the game throwing the ball erratically. Ryan Whalen bailed him out on a high throw to the outside on third down, before he overthrew Jermaine Gresham over the middle. If Ryan Clark hadn't been focused on Gresham, he would have had an easy interception. Dalton wasn't throwing the ball impressively throughout the day, before he opened the second half with an interception to Cortez Allen. Dalton tried to force the ball down the field to Andrew Hawkins, but failed to read the Steelers' zone defense that was designed specifically to bait the quarterback into that throw. The Bengals abandoned the run after it's early failures, which put the pressure on Dalton to perform. Despite making some good throws at times, he didn't have any kind of consistency when it came to the accuracy of his passes. Dalton's second interception came when he threw the ball to the sideline and it was tipped by Josh Victorian, before Allen made an athletic move to come up with his second interception of the day. Dalton threw the pass on third and 17 in no man's land, so it wasn't a bad decision to force it down the field. Dalton racked up most of his yardage when throwing underneath against the Steelers' off coverage. Whenever he was dared to throw deep, he dramatically overthrew his intended targets. Dalton didn't make the plays to win this game, save for one final throw to AJ Green, but he didn't need to do much as the Steelers effectively beat themselves on offense.
Week 17 - The Bengals had already locked up the 6th seed, so the starters were pulled after the first half. In that one half of play, Dalton had only one good drive. At the end of the first half, the Bengals started their drive on Baltimoreís 42 yard line. Dalton then completed five straight passes in a row, culminating in a quick hook to Marvin Jones where the receiver was able to spin away from some very poor tackling and run in the end zone for a touchdown. Other than these five accurate passes, Dalton had a muted performance. His receivers had trouble getting away from the Ravensí secondary, and Dalton was unwilling to throw them open. Dalton had a habit of throwing the ball over or behind tight coverage, and the Ravensí did a good job of collapsing his pocket, forcing the quarterback to throw without setting his feet, or checking down to options that could only gain minimal yardage. Without much of a running game either, the pressure of generating yards fell on Daltonís shoulders and the defense did a good job of limiting where Dalton could throw. Dalton also almost fumbled in the 2nd quarter, but was bailed out by the tuck rule.
Week 18 - Despite the relative closeness of the score, it is hard to find anything good about Daltonís performance against the Texans on Saturday. The 1st half, put as nicely as possible, was an embarrassment for both Dalton and the Bengalsí offense. Dalton opened the game with two incompletions, including an awful drop from TE Jermaine Gresham. Dalton finally completed a pass the following drive, but it went for a six-yard loss. Things only got worse on the next drive, despite two completions. Dalton picked up one yard on a frantic throw to Gresham before another blown up screen went for a two-yard loss. 3rd down looked promising as Marvin Jones was able to get behind the coverage, but Dalton badly underthrew the deep pass negating at minimum a 50+ yard gain (and perhaps a TD) as Kareem Jackson nearly intercepted the pass. Dalton opened the next drive much more positively, picking up 12 yards on a scramble up the middle before completing a pass to Jones two plays later for 11 yards. The Bengals were finally in Houston territory, but Dalton quickly turned to ice as his next two throws were incomplete (the latter of which was nearly intercepted) and the Bengals were forced to punt. Recapping Daltonís 1st half, he was four of eight for five yards with two near INTs (and ZERO throws to A.J. Green). By default (it couldnít be much worse), Daltonís 2nd half was an improvement but still left much to be desired. A quick three and out to open the half, Dalton found some semblance of rhythm on the 2nd drive of the 2nd half. Looking to Green for the first time all game, Dalton connected with the WR for a quick five-yard curl. After a short throw to Andre Hawkins, Green was able to get behind Jonathan Joseph and Dalton delivered a perfect deep ball for 45 yards (1/3 of Daltonís passing yards came on this one play). Dalton went right back to Green for a quick six yards before looking to him again in the end zone on 2nd down. Dalton badly missed, however, as his throw sailed well out of bounds. 3rd down was a disappointment all day and this drive was no different, with another Dalton incompletion forcing a FG. Dalton was let down by Green the following drive, as the WR didnít even make a play on the throw (seemed really surprised by the target) and it sailed right into Josephís waiting arms for an INT. Dalton actually responded well to the INT and itís hard to understand why every Bengal drive didnít look more like the drive following the INT. Dalton hit Gresham for a quick six yards before connecting with Hawkins for eight yards on a screen three plays later. Dalton again missed a big play opportunity, throwing late and short to Green in the end zone. The underthrown ball allowed Joseph to recover and poke the ball out of Greenís hands. Not only was Joseph able to recover, but also Kareem Jackson was able to catch up to the play and deliver a bone-shattering blow on Green too. Dalton connected with Green on a quick slant on 3rd down with a nice throw, but Joseph again made a great play and stopped him just short of the 1st down. Dalton and the Bengals had one more opportunity, and again the drive started out well. Dalton and Green connected on a quick out that Green turned into a 15-yard gain. After a penalty extended the drive, Dalton connected with Jones for 15 yards down the middle of the field. Daltonís struggles down the field continued, though, as he missed a wide-open Green in the end zone. Green beat Joseph with a double move, but the throw was well beyond Green as it harmlessly fell incomplete. With their season on the line and facing a 4th and 11, Dalton went underneath to Jones but he was unable to escape the initial tackle and was stopped short of the 1st down. Dalton and the Bengals never got the ball back, ending their 2012 season. Daltonís day was loaded with struggles, but most glaring was his ineptness throwing the ball down the field. With four deep shots, to four (very) open receivers Dalton was only able to connect once. He underthrew Jones in the 1st half before missing Green twice in the 2nd half (including what could have been the game winning TD on the Bengalsí final drive).