Attention Cincinnati Bengals fans hoping to see a change in quarterback before the end of this season: Be prepared to be disappointed.
With his team 3-6 on the season and riding a two-game losing streak, coach Marvin Lewis was asked Wednesday if there could be any benefit to backup quarterback A.J. McCarron getting some playing time in place of starter Andy Dalton late in the season.
“I don’t think so,” Lewis replied. "Not if Andy continues to play and do things right, the way we want him to do. Take care fo the ball, run the offense the way we expect him to run it.”
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Dalton’s quarterback rating is 88.2, a little more than three points worse than Tyrod Taylor, who was benched by Buffalo earlier Wednesday.
(It is almost five points higher than Ben Roethlisberger, for what it’s worth.)
If the season ended today, Dalton’s rating would have declined for the second straight year after a stellar 2015 when he posted a mark of 106.2.
With eight interceptions in nine games, he has matched last season’s total, and his completion percentage is down slightly, too.
Of course, playing behind one of the league’s worst offensive lines has not helped Dalton, who has been the Bengals starter since he was drafted in the second round out of TCU in 2011.
McCarron is in his third season as Dalton’s backup. He is a little bigger but came out of Alabama with a similar draft profile: average-arm, somewhat mobile and a good decision maker (a.k.a. game manager).
McCarron posted a QB rating of 97.1 in 2015 when he started the last three games of the regular season and a playoff loss to Pittsburgh after Dalton suffered a broken thumb.
The backup was nearly traded to Cleveland earlier this season, but the deal fell through when it was not filed to the league office in time.
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