The Cincinnati Bengals scored 430 points in 2013. Andy Dalton threw for 4,296 yards and 33 TDs. Most teams would kill for that production, right?
Anybody who watched Dalton struggle in his team’s playoff loss to the San Diego Chargers knows that things are more complicated than that. Taking another look at 2013, it is clear that those vanity stats from the regular season might not tell the whole story.
According to the DVOA rankings provided by FootballOutsiders, the Bengals’ offense were 17th in the NFL in league-adjusted offense (0.5%). According to ESPN’s total quarterback rating system (QBR), Dalton was 15th in the league with a 55.8 mark.
When Dalton is right, he’s a good NFL QB. But for a Bengals team with an elite defense and aspirations of a championship, that might not be enough.
Should the Bengals consider drafting a QB? Coley Harvey of ESPN suggests that it’s something the Bengals must at least consider:
Truth be told, with the inconsistent Dalton entering the final year of his rookie contract, — and Johnson and Robinson nearing the ends of theirs — it might be worth the Bengals’ while to start thinking beyond 2014 and life with new backups, or worst-case scenario, a new starter…
“…That’s why, the Bengals have to at least evaluate quarterbacks in this draft class such as Aaron Murray, Derek Carr and David Fales; players who could slip into fourth- and fifth-round territory and possibly end up being steals.”
The Bengals would be asking for all of the drama that comes with a QB controversy if they went this route, but maybe they have reached the point where they feel like they don’t have a choice.