by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Given all of the elite quarterbacks lost to their bye this week, it makes sense that you may be considering starting Andy Dalton tonight against the Browns. Is that really prudent, though?
First of all, you have to look at Dalton’s past three games:
- 10/19 at Indianapolis – 18-38, 126 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
- 10/26 vs. Baltimore – 21-28, 266 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
- 11/2 vs. Jacksonville – 19-31, 233 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
That’s a less than stellar 59.8% completion percentage, while he’s averaging 208.3 yards, 0.67 TD and 1 INT per game. All three of those teams are among the 15 worst at stopping opposing quarterbacks, which makes matters a but worse. While we may want to blame part of it on the absence of A.J. Green, it’s not like Mohamed Sanu was playing poorly.
The Browns, of course, are actually among the better defenses at stopping quarterbacks. Their 10 interceptions are tied for fourth in the league and their 12 TD are tied for the fourth fewest. With Joe Haden likely shadowing Green, it’s going to make things that much tougher.
Last season against the Browns Green turned 20 targets into just 9 receptions, 58 yards and 0 TD. It shouldn’t be a surprise, given the production Dalton put up against them:
- September 29 – 23-42, 206 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
- November 17 – 13-27, 93 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT
Those certainly aren’t inspiring and, given the Browns’ struggles at stopping the run you figure that it will likely be the Jeremy Hill show once again. That just will further help to deflate Dalton’s upside.
It’s hard to call him a must sit, because it all comes down to your alternatives. However, given his recent play and the matchup it’s certainly hard to bank on any type of production. Look elsewhere before planning on utilizing him.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
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