The New York Jets will be facing a returning Andy Dalton at quarterback when the team takes on the 0-11 Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday.
The New York Jets were licking their chops ahead of this Sunday as the team was set to take on an 0-11 Cincinnati Bengals team led by rookie quarterback Ryan Finley. But now they’ll have to prepare for a different quarterback under center.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor told reporters on Monday that the team plans to start veteran Andy Dalton at quarterback this week. Dalton was benched following the team’s 24-10 loss to the Los Angels Rams in favor of the rookie Finley.
The TCU product had put up pedestrian numbers through eight games throwing for 2,252 yards and nine touchdowns. However, turnovers remained a problem as Dalton had tossed eight interceptions and fumbled the ball six times.
And even though the Bengals knew they likely had a better shot of winning with Dalton under center, they decided that it was time to evaluate what they had given their 0-8 record so they turned to Finley.
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Unfortunately, Finley struggled to do much of anything in three starts throwing for 474 yards and two touchdowns while also tossing two interceptions and fumbling a whopping four times in three games.
On top of that, the NC State product completed just 47.7 percent of his passes and looked lost leading a hapless Bengals offense that failed to put up more than 13 points in any of his three starts.
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That included a 10-point outing against an Oakland Raiders team two weeks ago that surrendered 34 points to the Jets this past Sunday. And after the Bengals 16-10 loss to the Steelers, they clearly had seen enough.
Starting Finley was all about evaluation. They knew what they were working with in regards to Dalton and decided that it was best to give their rookie fourth-round pick a chance to start.
And now, it seems that it’s also apparent that Finley isn’t the guy either which is why they went back to the player who gives them the best chance to win.
While nothing special, Dalton has at least looked competent this season while playing alongside a weak supporting cast. And in his career, the 32-year-old has actually faired pretty well against the Jets.
In two career starts against Gang Green, Dalton has completed 70 percent of his passes while throwing for six touchdowns and just two interceptions. His 11.52 yards per attempt is over 2.3 yards higher than his output against any other team.
And in each of those two starts, Dalton and the Bengals have emerged victorious.
He won’t be facing any easy task this Sunday when he faces a Jets defense that has looked dominant over the past few weeks. But he likely gives the team a much better option than Finley.
For the Jets, they should still be favored especially given how well they’ve been playing. But the Bengals will absolutely stand a fighting chance with Dalton back in the starting lineup.
This Sunday could be a trap game for the Jets and it’s one that they mustn’t look past with Dalton starting at quarterback.