I hyped him up in my fantasy football rankings and now it’s time for me to explain why the Bengals signing Andy Dalton long term is completely worth it. The main criticism against Andy Dalton is that he is 0-3 in the playoffs, but people forget how amazing it is that he got to playoffs in the first place in a tough division 3 times. Those 3 playoff losses should be considered an aberration because in the last 2 seasons Andy Dalton was 6-2 against playoff teams in the regular season proving that he can step up against top opponents. It just seems like bad luck that his bad performances have come in the playoffs. One thing I’ve noticed when watching some highlights of the Bengals-Chargers game and reading the play-by-play is that it isn’t just Dalton who is letting the team down, there were other players who made horrible mistakes to let the team down. The Gio Bernard fumble in the 2nd quarter of last year’s game did him no favors, same with that critical drop AJ Green had on what would have been a 50 yard pass in the fourth quarter all hurt the Bengals as much as Dalton’s 2 interceptions.
Another thing people forget about Dalton is that his stats are actually quite good. Like I mentioned in the Fantasy Football QB rankings Andy Dalton has had more passing TDs and passing yards in his first 3 seasons than any QB in history besides Dan Marino and Peyton Manning. He also has more wins in the same time period than any body but Marino, Flacco and Ryan. His Y/A, the adjusted versions of the stat, and his yards and TDS have all improved each year and now those stats rank in the top-15 or top-10. The only issue has been the consistent increase in interception rate. Hopefully Hue Jackson’s offense can lower this rate. Andy Dalton’s stats as a whole shows us that he can be a competent QB, but it’s his October and December stats that show he can have a spectacular run. In October Dalton threw for 1584 yds 11TDs and 6 picks while in December he threw for 1339 yds 12TDs and 5 picks. If he can have the games he is capable of in the playoffs Andy Dalton can take the team far a la Joe Flacco.
Finally lets take a look at the contract. According to Mike Florio the contract is essentially a 2 year 25 million dollar contract with a whole bunch of 1 year options and bonuses for playoff victories. This deal gives the Bengals cap flexibility. In fact Dalton’s contract is much better than the contracts given out to Romo and Cutler and a bit better than the one given to Kaepernick. Dalton’s contracts average money per year is only 11th best in the league and which seems to be right around where Dalton is in his career right now, a little above average. You can see more details about his contract here. So it is kind of a ridiculous notion that the Bengals overpaid for for Dalton, especially when you consider the alternative of having an unsettled QB situation.