Andy Dalton Can Lead a Run-First Offense

Before you call me crazy, just hear me out. I, too, am tired of Andy Dalton. I’m tired of losing. I’m tired of the same old stuff. I’m ready for Ryan Finley. Honestly, before I started writing this, I KNEW there would be no less than a dozen negative comments and no more than 0 positive ones. I’m okay with that. I mean I once was a reporter for the Memphis Express for crying out loud.

Before you scroll down and make a mean comment – ask yourself: “Can Joe Mixon be a feature back?” The answer is yes and that’s why the Bengals can succeed. Andy Dalton can manage games. He can not screw them up once in awhile. But Andy Dalton cannot just go out and straight up win games. It’s nearly impossible. He certainly can’t do it with the bright lights shining down. But is it ALL him? I mean he’s never had a coach…and now he does? He’s had talent – but has he ever had a great playcaller? Not really – and Andy Dalton is a guy that needs a great playcaller. Andy Dalton can’t go up to the line and change a bunch of stuff and then run a completely new play. It’s not really him. He’s not Tom Brady. He’s not Peyton Manning. He’s Andy Dalton. The most hated man in Cincinnati and I get it – but here’s how you succeed.

You bring in Zac Taylor and you re-energize a team that hasn’t had energy since the playoff loss in ’15. You clean house. You get rid of Vontaze Burfict – the most useless person on the Bengals squad since he signed his first deal after being undrafted. You let Pacman walk and you don’t bring him back. You don’t take Dwayne Haskins in the first round to immediately start a controversy on your team – you fill the needs that you have and you see what you’re working with. I was PISSED when they didn’t draft Haskins (but I was drinking – happy bachelor party, Rookie!) and I gave up on the season. But if you’re Taylor…what do you do? Do you go out and try to draft a first round QB and then what? Start him day 1? With no line? It’ll be a massacre and the Bengals will be 4-12. Instead, we draft a huge offensive lineman, a blocking tight end, and a center. We pick up two running backs with decent value and we come out and say “We’re focusing on the run.” That also says, “We’re not going to lean on Andy Dalton to win games…so relax. I know you’re pissed he’s still our QB but if we want any sort of chance to win this dumpster fire of a division, it’s with him at QB.” That’s a little lengthy but it is true.

The AFC North is going to be bad. When the Browns are the team to watch, you’re in trouble. The Steelers just lost their two best players. The Ravens are led by Lamar Jackson – who had a great first year as a scrambling QB and was super exciting and was….he’s RGIII and the Ravens won’t win 8 games. The Steelers won’t, either! They’re overpaying an old QB who just lost his best target. So you have the Browns – the team who went and signed OBJ to go along with Baker Mayfield (whose never had issues) and Kareem Hunt – the guy who is already suspended 8 games for a domestic issue. They’re led by none other than Freddie Kitchens! Look, the Browns SHOULD win the division. They’re stacked in theory. But that many ridiculous and crazy personalities? OBJ couldn’t get along with Eli Manning. Eli Manning is like the nicest guy ever and super patient. You think he and Baker are going to mesh? Not after week 3. Watch it burn.

So what do the Bengals need to do? Honestly, it’s win 8 or 9 games. Win division games. Win at home. This division isn’t going to get a wildcard team, so just get rid of that thought all together. But all it’s going to take is managing a few games and winning one or two of those jump balls. The Bengals have a favorable schedule and Andy Dalton has enough experience to (hopefully) not screw this up. So, before you jump down my throat that Andy Dalton sucks….I GET IT. I’ve been there. I’ve watched him more times than you, probably. I’m just saying if we want to win this year, he is our best bet. Zac Taylor thinks so, too! So let’s breathe. Relax. And let’s trust Zac Taylor! It’s a NEW DEY. Drop down in the comments and say something nice (or don’t, I don’t care).