I’ve always had a soft spot for Andy Dalton. Don’t know why, maybe because I have a soft spot for the Bengals in general. But I’ve always liked Dalton, and I always hated that it seems like no one noticed when he’s actually a good QB and everyone notices when he sucks. It doesn’t help that he tends to suck in bigger games against better teams. Dalton is average. He’s not as bad as he was on Thursday night, and he’s not as good as he looks when things work well. He seems very reliant on the pressure he’s under behind center. Honestly he kind of reminds me of the way Joe Flacco looked during the regular season in his first few years, and like Eli too in a way. He’s inconsistent. He’s just good enough that you don’t want to get rid of him because QBs are hard to just find, but he’s not quite good enough to warrant banking everything on. He’s that awkward middle ground. The Bengals paid him this offseason, clearly going with the hope that he’d improve and banking their immediate future on him. This season feels like more of the same. The once frontrunners of the AFC have been terrible since the bye week and now the Browns and Steelers are looking to be in contention for the AFC North, especially with the injuries Baltimore is taking.

I root for Dalton when I see him, and I’d love to see him put this game behind him, but man, that was a bad, bad game.