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Andy Dalton commits three straight turnovers to kill Bengals (GIFs)

Andy Dalton

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:

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Pacman Jones: I’m 99 percent sure Andy Dalton can lead us to a Super Bowl

andy-daltonAndy Dalton has been one of the more efficient quarterbacks in the NFL since joining the Cincinnati Bengals three years ago. He isn’t going to throw for 5,000 yards like Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, but he is capable of doing enough to put his team in a position to win. In this age of the pass-heavy offense, can Dalton do enough to win an AFC Championship?

Adam “Pacman” Jones is very confident in his quarterback. However, there is still a small piece of him that wonders if Dalton can lead Cincinnati to a championship.

“I’d say I’m about 99% convinced that Andy can take us to the Super Bowl,” Jones told Erik Kuselias on NBC Sports Network’s Pro Football Talk.

Pacman was then asked what Dalton would need to do for him to feel 100% confident.

“I think he just needs to step up vocally and lead the team but I think he has the tools and all the weapons to lead us there,” he replied.

In his third NFL season, now is the time Dalton needs to take his game to the next level. The Bengals have a solid defense, but it’s not good enough to reach a Super Bowl with Dalton averaging just one touchdown pass per game. He needs to do a better job of getting the ball to AJ Green and allowing him to dominate games. Scoring 13 points in a victory, like the Bengals did last week, won’t cut it most weeks.

And apparently Dalton needs to step up and lead more. The AFC does not look all that strong. We’re waiting for a top dog to emerge. It sounds like Jones is waiting for the same thing to happen within his own locker room.

Ravens DE Says Andy Dalton Gave Away Bengals’ Snap Count

Ravens rookie defensive end Pernell McPhee bragged after his team’s win over the Bengals that the defense had Andy Dalton’s number. Specifically, McPhee says they knew when Andy Dalton was going to call for the ball to be snapped.

McPhee said he noticed by studying game tape that Dalton had a tendency to let the play clock wind down to five seconds before tapping center Kyle Cook’s hip. Then, Dalton would look to his left and take the snap.

“I got a good get-off,” McPhee said. “I just knew they would snap it every time after he tapped the center’s hip. I was paying attention to that. I timed it up pretty good, 100 miles per hour.”

Sounds great, right? The truth is McPhee sacked Dalton on a 4th and goal play where Dalton was lined up in shotgun, not under center. And if the Ravens really had the rookie quarterback’s number, then why did they only have two sacks the entire game? Maybe they did get good jumps off the snap, but McPhee’s explanation doesn’t match what happened on his sack. Additionally, if McPhee really noticed something key, why would he give away the inside information when the teams are schedule to play again in week 17?

Clearly the guy isn’t as smart as he thinks.

Helmet knock to AFC North Blog

Andy Dalton’s Delta Tau Chi Name Will Now be ‘Red Rifle’

People often complain that we no longer have good nicknames in sports. They’re right. Most of the time we follow a simple (and lame) formula for nicknames: First initial, hyphen, first three letters of the athlete’s last name. It’s a simple plug and play formula that works for everyone. Best part of all? It requires no creativity.

Given this information, you’ll understand why I like anyone willing to venture out of the lame nickname formula box. It’s also why I appreciate Andy Dalton’s new nickname, as bestowed by Bengals’ play-by-play man Dan Hoard.

According to Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer, Hoard began calling the Bengals rookie quarterback the “Red Rifle” during last Thursday’s preseason game. Dalton apparently is fine with the nickname. “I’ll take it. I guess everyone is trying to find something and the red hair helps,” Dalton said.

I don’t know why everything about Dalton has to center around his red hair. Like we’ve never had a red-headed quarterback in the NFL before? And although I’m happy to have a nickname deviate from the tired formula, I must point out that calling a quarterback some sort of rifle is somewhat played out. Even Ron Jaworski and Ryan Fitzpatrick would say so.

Andy Dalton Scrutinized for His Red Hair

Before NFL teams decide to commit a draft pick and potential millions of dollars to a player, they try to find out everything they can about the young man. They do background checks, investigations, talk to coaches, and occasionally ask you to break dance. Seriously. But the latest level of scrutiny easily beats all others. As Pro Football Talk noted from Peter King’s column, TCU quarterback Andy Dalton’s hair color can even be a cause for concern.

King wrote in his column that “At least one team is thinking not just about Dalton’s brains but also about what’s on top of them. “Has there ever been a red-headed quarterback in the NFL who’s really done well?” a coach asked one reporter last week. “It sounds idiotic, but is there any way that could be a factor? We’ve wondered.”

If Andy Dalton slips in the draft, you think he’ll hire a lawyer to file a suit alleging fur discrimination? You think Larry David would take the stand as a witness citing his theory of baldness bias? It could happen and frankly, I’m not sure the world is ready for it. Sadly, not even going with a hip mohawk can help Dalton against this sort of scrutiny.

Andy Dalton Gets a Mohawk for TCU’s 11-0 Start

Even though Andy Dalton had to shave his head after losing a bet with his teammates, I’m guessing the teammates wished they had asked for a different bounty. The red head was probably thrilled to pay up considering the terms of the deal: he had to get the cut if the team won 10 straight games. They did that last week in their easy win over Utah so Dalton showed up to TCU’s game on Saturday looking like this:

Andy Dalton mohawk shaved head

The picture doesn’t show the reverse side where apparently Dalton had “TCU” shaved in. The Horned Frogs started off slowly against Wyoming but turned it on midway through the 2nd quarter to win 45-10. At 11-0 and with road wins over Clemson, Utah, and BYU, they’re legit. It’s too bad the Big 12 Title Game can’t be canceled so TCU can play Texas instead of Nebraska. No doubt the Horned Frogs would make it a game. As for Dalton, he now has 18 touchdowns against 5 interceptions, 2,256 yards passing, and 477 yards rushing on the season. Not too shabby.