You don’t even need to know who that name belongs to to figure out who it could possibly be. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton earned that title shortly after entering the league and could not get stop that nickname from sticking even though he doesn’t like it. You would expect a player with a nickname like that to be a deadly throwing machine, but Dalton hasn’t quite lived up to that.
He is a two time pro bowler who hasn’t missed a single game in all four years since he joined the league. He has led the Cincinnati Bengals to a Wild Card spot in the playoffs every single year, but he has also led those same Bengals to a Wild Card game loss. Even though he is a solid quarterback, the playoffs matter, and a 0-4 record is hard to get over. Specially when you consider his play in those games.
Dalton has thrown 62% completion percentage in his career and a 99 – 66 TD:INT ratio which isn’t bad at all for a quarterback just starting his career. His season high in yardage came in 2013 when he reached the 4200 mark and 33 touchdowns in a season, leading him to a pro bowl appearance. Dalton is not a bad running quarterback and definitely not a bad receiving quarterback considering he caught a touchdown pass from Mohamed Sanu, the first for a quarterback since 2008. It also helps to have Pro Bowl WR AJ Green on your team. It was definitely noticeable how much of Dalton’s numbers rely on Green’s health. Dalton struggled heavily without AJ at his best during a 5 game span that includes a 126 yd performance on a 27-0 defeat against the Colts and a 10-33 86 yards and 0-3 TD:INT ratio vs division rival Cleveland Browns.
So What is the problem with a solid quarterback like Andy Dalton? The red rifle is sure to be a success isn’t he?
Well lets look at the playoff numbers:
2011: 27-42, 257 yds 0-3 Rating: 51.4 LOSS
2012: 14-30, 127 yds 0-1 Rating: 44.7 LOSS
2013: 29-51, 334 yds 1-2 Rating: 67.0 LOSS
2014: 18-35, 155 yds 0-0 Rating: 63.4 LOSS
Right from the start you start to think these must be numbers put up by Mark Sanchez or Blaine Gabbert but no. Not at all. This is the Red rifle in pressure games. Atrocious honestly.
I understand that players get better in time. Usually by the fourth time they reach the playoffs they have figured things out and they can deal with the pressure as if it was just another game. But Dalton has failed to do so. Its not easy to find solid quarterbacks now a days so you can count on Dalton to keep his job for a while longer. Specially if a playoff contender like the Eagles would trade for injury prone quarterback Sam Bradford, then the red rifle still has a long career in the NFL. Winning however, probably not in his genes. Would not be surprised at all to see Dalton and the Bengals cut ties in the next few years.