When you think of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, Andy Dalton's name rarely comes up. Dalton is often ranked in the group right below elite. He's a good but not great quarterback. The Bengals obviously invested a lot of money into Dalton and expect big things moving forward.
The Bengals no doubt have the edge at the quarterback position this Sunday. Over the last two games Dalton has played very well. He's completed 40 of 57 passes for 443 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Dalton doesn't have the biggest arm but he relies on getting the ball out quickly to his talented wide receivers. So far on the season, he's thrown 12 touchdowns but he's also been picked off 10 times as well. Lovie Smith knows Dalton can play at a high level when called upon. "That’s why he got a big contract and that’s why their franchise is totally behind him. From high school, I’ve followed his career a long time being a Texas guy," Smith said. "He makes good decisions, he can throw the ball, he’s mobile enough to keep plays alive and of course he has some good targets to throw the ball to. He’s one of the better quarterbacks we’ve played this year as we see it.” Of course one of those targets is wide receiver A.J. Green. Green has over 100 yards receiving in each of his last two games.
The Bucs might be able to disrupt the Bengals offense this week. Right tackle Andre Smith is out for the rest of the season. His replacement, Marshall Newhouse, has had issues when given the opportunity to play.
Cincinnati is the better team. They have the better quarterback for sure. Dalton might not be elite but come Sunday, he won't have to be. Being average will be good enough.
Follow Bucs Blitz on twitter: @TBBucsOnScout