Andy Dalton commits three straight turnovers to kill Bengals (GIFs)
Andy Dalton crushed the Cincinnati Bengals’ chances of beating San Diego at home in their wild card playoff game on Sunday by committing three turnovers in a row during the third and fourth quarter.
The first turnover occurred when Dalton scrambled for a first down and dove head first but lost the ball. The Chargers recovered at the 46 and ended up with a field goal to go up 17-10.
On the Bengals’ next possession, Dalton was intercepted by Shareece Wright, who returned the ball to the 3-yard line:
A delay of game penalty pushed the Chargers back five yards, and they settled for another field goal to go up 20-10.
And if you thought Dalton had committed enough turnovers, you were wrong. The Bengals QB completed the trifecta by getting picked on the next drive:
That was Melvin Ingram with the interception, and it may have been Dalton’s worst turnover of the game.
Dalton entered the game with no touchdowns and four interceptions in his playoff career (he lost to the Houston Texans two years in a row). This effort did not change the national perception that he’s not a postseason quarterback.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said during the year that Dalton needed to win during the playoffs to silence his critics.
“He’s been a three-year starter so he’s accomplished a lot of things in his career thus far,” Lewis told NFL Network’s “NFL AM” on Friday. “But until we win playoff games these questions you have … those will always continue to be there. And that’s all we can do is erase them for Andy and myself.”
After Sunday’s game, those critics will be even more vocal. That was a terrible stretch of play by Dalton.