Andy Dalton has led the Cincinnati Bengals effectively over the past two NFL seasons, but the early start of his 2017 campaign has fans shaking their heads–and their fists. The problem is that his inconsistent play this season might have another casualty because of the loyalty he has long shown his players, in the form of Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.
But moments ago, the Bengals fired offensive coordinator Ken Zampese, according to NFL National Insider Ian Rapoport. And it seems like the Bengals have chosen who the scapegoat will be for their early season ineptitude.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 15, 2017
Loyalty can be a fickle thing because it isn’t often given in return, and Lewis should know this by now. Having been the head coach of multiple NFL teams, Lewis never seems to understand when it is time to switch things up. Loyalty to Lewis is something that has cost him his job in the past, and will do so once again if he can’t right the play of Dalton — or make a change at the quarterback position.
The Bengals lost their second consecutive home game of the season, and still have not scored a touchdown in 2017. It feels as if that is an anomaly, but Dalton has looked like anything but the “Red Rifle” moniker he earned.
A 20-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens to open the season was made uglier by Dalton’s 16-of-31 for 170 yards performance. As if that wasn’t ugly enough, he also had zero touchdowns and four interceptions in the game.
Thursday night’s 13-9 loss to the Houston Texans, who were thrashed in Week One by the Jacksonville Jaguars, only brings up more questions surrounding Dalton and Lewis and the struggling Bengals’ offense.
Overall, Dalton’s career has been acceptable. He has a 56-37-2 career record, with 22,608 passing yards, 142 touchdowns and 85 interceptions.
But if Dalton isn’t able to adjust to whoever the Bengals bring in as their new offensive coordinator, Cincinnati will either make an adjustment at quarterback or part ways with their head coach.
The Bengals face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in their next game, and will need as much offense as they can muster up against Aaron Rodgers and Company.