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QB Andy Dalton - Cincinnati Bengals

6-2, 215Born: 10-29-1987College: TCUDrafted: Round 2

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Photo: Charles LeClaire, US Presswire

Preseason player page

News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Oct 27): Dalton followed up maybe his worst game as a pro with one of his gutsiest. Without AJ Green, he still found Mohamed Sanu twice open downfield in key moments, and he was able to score twice on the ground to finish drives. He is worth a look if you are covering a bye with Jacksonville up next.

Week 9: vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Mark and Joe say: Neutral matchup. Andy Dalton found a way to score against the Ravens, with 6/14/2 rushing to help out his fantasy owners (21/28 for 266 yards passing, zero TDs and one interception thrown). Mohamed Sanu continued to do the heavy lifting for the injury-decimated receiving corps, with nine targets for 5/125/0 receiving to his credit. Greg Little was a temporary lift (five targets for 3/42/0 receiving) while Cincinnati waits for A.J. Green to get back in the action. Green said after the game last week that his sore toe is back to 80% healthy, and IF he doesn't suffer another practice-session setback it is looking good for Green to play in Week 9. Stay tuned to's Players in the News later this week for the latest on Green's practice participation. If he can go, it should provide a lift for Dalton's performance as a passer. The Jaguars started the year being pathetic at pass defense, and currently rank 27th in the NFL averaging 267.4 net passing yards allowed per game, with 13 pass TDs allowed vs. a mere three interceptions (tied for 26th in the NFL). They do have 25 sacks this season (tied for second in the NFL), which has become a building block for the pass D. Ryan Tannehill was held to 16/29 for 178 net yards, one TD and one interception thrown last week (three sacks taken for -18 yards), while Brian Hoyer threw 16/41 for 197 net yards, zero TDs and one interception two games ago (also three sacks taken for -18 yards). During October, the Jaguars' pass D has taken several steps forward - they aren't getting totally dominated in this phase of the game anymore. Dalton has faltered without Green, but against the so-so Jaguars pass D he should be able to get on track in the passing phase of the game.

Recent Stats and Projections

5 at NE 15 24 204 2 0 2 16 0 0
6 vs CAR 34 44 323 2 2 4 25 0 0
7 at IND 18 38 126 0 0 1 0 0 0
8 vs BAL 21 28 266 0 1 6 14 2 1
9 vs JAX PROJ-Dodds 20 32 * * * 3 * * *
9 vs JAX PROJ-Tremblay 20 32 * * * 4 * * *
9 vs JAX PROJ-Bloom 21 30 * * * 1 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 6 vs CAR (34 / 44 / 323 / 2 / 2 pass, 4 / 25 / 0 rush)

The attrition of Andy Dalton's weapons put the Bengals into a difficult spot against an enigmatic Panthers defense. Down to Mohamed Sanu and scrubs in the passing game, it was widely presumed that the Bengals would rely on the running game to try and score points. But for most of the game, the running game wasn't there. Dalton was forced to throw to wide receivers that have been buried on the bench for the last couple of seasons. Despite these issues, Dalton threw for over 300 yards, threw a couple of touchdowns and put up 37 points. Taking over with 2 minutes left in overtime, he led the Bengals down the field and put them in position for an easy field goal, but the kick was missed and the Bengals settled for a tie. That isn't to say that Dalton didn't make mistakes, because he did. Dalton threw 2 interceptions. His first interception was returned 80 yards, but actually wasn't really his fault. The defender got Dalton's elbow right as he was throwing it, forcing a popup right to the defender. Dalton's second INT came on 3rd and 15. Jermaine Gresham was running deep down the middle of the field, and Dalton tried to force it to him. The window was quite small and would have required a perfect throw. Dalton's throw was high and the ball was intercepted. Dalton got away with another bad throw on a drive later in the game. He threw a pass to Sanu on the sideline in double coverage, but the Panthers CB reached out and tipped the ball, and Sanu then grabbed it out of the air for the catch. While it worked out well, the Panthers just missed an INT. It's hard to fault Dalton for those errors, however, as he was trying to make plays with a poor group of weapons. Although Sanu was fantastic, Tate, Sanzenbacher and Gresham are quite limited. Also, the running game never really got going, aside from Gio's one long TD. But Dalton does a great job running the no-huddle offense, making calls at the line, and working the ball down the field. On one of the few times he tried to go deep, he connected, hitting Mohamed Sanu for a 32 yard TD down the sideline. Dalton hung it right over the defender and Sanu used his physicality to get the TD. In overtime, Dalton picked up a couple big 3rd down conversions, but a sack ended the first possession, as the pressure was relentless on Dalton all day. Then he got another chance with 2 minutes left in overtime. Dalton started out with short passes, and moved the ball to midfield. Then he hit rookie James Wright downfield for 24 yards with 40 seconds left in the game, to get the ball into field goal range. Ultimately, it was a very good game for Dalton. Every QB throws int's, and this is especially the case when working with a poor supporting cast, and being put into a position in which you are forced to throw the ball downfield. Dalton made a lot of big 3rd down conversions, he led his team on some big 4th quarter and overtime drives, and he kept the offense alive. Despite all the injuries on offense, the defense is the problem in Cincy, as Dalton has put up points and moved the ball. When/if Green and Jones return, the offense could become a top 5 offense again.

2014 Week 7 vs IND (18 / 38 / 126 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)

I don't know if this was Andy Dalton's worst performance as a Bengal, but it was close. The Bengals offense was completely inept. The Bengals opened the game with 8 straight 3 and outs before converting a first down with less than a minute to go in the half. The performance was just horrific all around. Dalton didn't do anything, his Oline was putrid, the running game did nothing, and his receivers got zero separation all day long. As a QB, you take all the blame when you play this bad, and Dalton deserves it. The Colts repeatedly brought the blitz, and Dalton could never make them pay. His receivers couldn't get open, his line couldn't block, and so he was sacked and hurried throughout. Drops weren't a huge factor, but two first downs were dropped by receivers. Without AJ, the Bengals surprised everyone with their offensive potency a week ago. The Colts locked down Sanu and Dalton simply had no one else to go to. His short throws to Gresham were never a threat. His dumpoffs to Bernard almost got Bernard injured. To Dalton's credit, he never lost his composure and threw INT's, but to be fair, the offense was so ineffective, that's honestly not all that important. Also, while Dalton was bad in the first half, the Colts weren't great either. The Colts turned the ball over and played very poorly in the first half. They gave Cincinnati 9 possessions, which is just astounding. But this also makes the Bengals look even worse, as they had opportunity after opportunity, but continued to fail. The Bengals need AJ Green back badly, and they need to right the ship quickly. Another performance like this, and Dalton will start hearing the boo-birds quickly.

2014 Week 8 vs BAL (21 / 28 / 266 / 0 / 1 pass, 6 / 14 / 2 rush)

The Ravens have always given Andy Dalton problems, and they certainly gave him issues in Cincinnati. Dalton had severe accuracy problems, had no running game, and made a couple mistakes. But Dalton overcame these mistakes and led the Bengals on a game winning drive to sweep the Ravens and put the Bengals back in first place. On the game's opening drive, Dalton threw a deep slant behind Sanu and over his head. Sanu made a remarkable play on the ball, broke a tackle and ran for 48 yards. This ball could have been intercepted if not for Sanu's amazing catch. Next, Dalton hit Greg Little on a comeback inside the 5, and then Dalton scored on a 1 yard plunge for a TD. The Ravens did a good job of killing a lot of clock and keeping the Bengals off the field. The Bengals couldn't establish the run, and had two holding penalties (both by Andre Smith) that killed two drives. In the second half, after a Bengals TD that came as a result of a turnover, a Sanu reverse and a couple short Gio runs, Dalton finally began throwing again late in the 3rd. Dalton hit Tate for 2 first downs, then he hit Sanu on two sideline passes, one of which Sanu almost broke for a TD. Dalton then made another poor throw when Little broke free of his CB and got wide open in the endzone. Dalton overthrew him and immediately knew he missed a TD. The Bengals had to settle for a field goal. After that miss, Dalton crumbled. First he threw a bad pass on the sideline to Sanu that should have been intercepted. Then on a playaction pass, he turned around after the fake and Ngata just destroyed him, which caused Dalton to fumble and led to a Ravens TD. On the very next drive, Dalton hit Sanu on a slant, and the Ravens stripped the ball away and got what was chalked up as an INT. While the fault for the INT was probably Sanu's, it works itself out, as Sanu saved him from an INT earlier in the game. Things looked quite bleak, twitter was all over Dalton, and the fans were not happy. That's when Dalton responded with a game-winning drive. He stepped up into the pocket and threw a deep ball to Sanu for 53 yards on 3rd and long. Then he hit Little on a sideline route for 13, and finally Dalton, with the help of a big push from the line, scored on a QB keeper on 4th and 1. There are some big positives for Dalton and Cincinnati. First, the offensive weapons are less than ideal. Sanu remains the only big weapon in the passing game. When Greg Little, who was signed off the streets, is your second best weapon, you know there are problems. Second, the running game is non-existent. There is no push, and the only way Cincy can move the ball right now is through the air. Still, despite these factors, Dalton led the Bengals to a huge win against a fast and aggressive defense. The negatives are that he continued to make mistakes. But a quick look around the league shows that a lot of QB's make a lot of mistakes. To grill Dalton for a few bad passes, and overlook other QB's that make similar mistakes is disingenuous. Dalton did ok, and when he gets AJ Green and Eifert back, the Bengals offense should really take off.


Cincinnati Bengals Team Links

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9vs Jacksonville Jaguars
10vs Cleveland Browns
11@ New Orleans Saints
12@ Houston Texans
13@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
14vs Pittsburgh Steelers
15@ Cleveland Browns
16vs Denver Broncos
17@ Pittsburgh Steelers