Now, Andy Dalton just wrapped up his 3rd year in the "the league". He has made a playoff appearance, and lost in the first round, all of those years. Now, Andy Dalton has not been an outstanding QB in those 3 playoff games, but to me, that is a pretty small sample size. With the exception of very few quarterbacks, most young QB's entering the playoffs don't perform well. Luck was okay at best last year in the defeat to the eventual champion Ravens, and if it hadn't been for one very epic comeback, he would be 0-2 and he threw the same number of picks at Dalton did on Sunday. This is very similar to the stuff we heard for years about guys like Peyton Manning. "Can't win the big one". Now I can understand this perception, and players will have nerves come playoff time, but the guy is a 3rd year quarterback who has been to the playoffs 3 times... that's pretty damn good. I can name about 20 teams that would have killed to get into the playoffs this year, and, for the most part, the main reason they didn't was a lesser QB. For instance, look at the Vikings whose starting QB situation looked more like a revolving door at a hotel than anything, you're telling me that they wouldn't kill to have a proven leader who consistently gets their team to the playoffs?
Now, making the playoffs year in and out is great, but most teams want to advance. Andy Dalton hasn't done that quite yet. But, any one who suggests that a rookie QB has a better chance of leading a team deep into the playoffs than Dalton is ludicrous. Teams, and fans, and analysts often get caught up in this idea of potential, and I am guilty of that as much of anyone else. But getting rid of a proven starter who hasn't put it together in 3 playoff games, well be my guest Bengals, but I doubt that turns out the way you think it will. I watched Dalton pull out a big win in the Rose Bowl 3 years ago with TCU. I fully believe that he can win big games. Why hasn't he? Well go listen to someone from ESPN talk for about 5 minutes, they will give you about 1,000 reasons, but I will just say this. The momentum of the game Sunday took a huge swing when Dalton made a great pass to a WR cutting over the middle, and then the receiver fumbled it on the goal line. That doesn't forgive Dalton's interceptions in the second half, but when things like that happen, it's easy for a young QB to try to hard and things to fall apart really quick.
Thanks for reading,
T.O. signing out.