The Bengals come into their game against the Jets on Sunday still in search of their first win of the season. Just three games after benching Andy Dalton in favor of rookie Ryan Finley, Cincinnati is turning back to their veteran quarterback.
Despite his struggles this season, Jets head coach Adam Gase isn't looking past the TCU product, who has played 128 games for the Bengals since the team drafted him in 2011.
"He's a dangerous guy, period." Gase said. "That's just what it is. It's not always easy when you're a quarterback who's been in the same organization for a long time under the same head coach and all of a sudden everything changes. It's not always as smooth as you want it to be."
"He's a dangerous guy, period" - Adam Gase on Andy Dalton pic.twitter.com/2pxkkygD7q- Jets Videos (@snyjets) November 29, 2019
Following the departure of head coach Marvin Lewis after 16 seasons, the first 11 games of Zac Taylor's tenure has been anything but smooth, especially at the quarterback position.
With running back Joe Mixon struggling behind a depleted offensive line, Dalton averaged more than 42 throws per game over the first eight games of the season, with a completion percentage hovering around 60 percent. He threw for just nine touchdowns and had eight interceptions, and with an eye on the future, Taylor went to Finley coming out of the Bengals' bye week in Week 10.
Finley was a fourth-round pick in 2019 and did not fare well in his first three games under center, completing passes at just a 47.1 percent rate and taking 11 sacks in the process. With the Bengals out of contention for everything but the first pick in the 2020 Draft, it was expected that Finley would remain the team's starting quarterback, but Taylor announced Monday that the job was Dalton's once again.
"We just want to win," Taylor said. "That veteran presence he has will certainly be helpful through all the things we've been experiencing so far on offense."
And that's why Gase isn't discounting what Dalton can do, despite what this season's numbers might say.
"I know everyone always wants to pile on the quarterback, but Andy's been a good player in this league for a while," Gase said. "He went to the playoffs a lot of times with this team."