The Cincinnati Bengals are hoping to make a push for the AFC North title during the 2013-14 NFL season and it appears on the surface that they have all of the tools to do just that. They have a star wide receiver in A.J. Green, one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the league with Geno Atkins, Rookie of the Year candidate with Giovani Bernard and an all-around impressive front-seven.
The pieces to the puzzle are there, but one big question remains: Can Andy Dalton lead this team?
Dalton has been a serviceable quarterback for the Bengals, but he has left a lot to be desired during his preparation for the season. Just look at his stat line throughout the season for passes over fifteen-yards — 0-for-5 with an interception.
Dalton has been working hard to improve throughout the offseason, but we have yet to see results. He is excellent if you want to dink-and-dunk your way down the field, but eventually teams will catch on and you will need to throw the deep ball. That is when Andy Dalton is in trouble.
He can still prove us all wrong during the regular season, but those concerns with Dalton’s downfield passing could be the Achilles heel to the Bengals offensive attack and leave them on the outside looking in.
For some people that view Cincinnati as a potential AFC champion, prepare for a major disappointment this season.