While the Cincinnati Bengals had a challenging year, winning only two games in the 2019 season, fans found something to be happy about. It wasn’t the sporadic win or affordable tickets for sale that made them happy. Nor was it keeping A.J. Green on the roster at the trade deadline. No, the fans cheered for something else entirely, and longtime QB Andy Dalton wasn’t very pleased about it. Before we get to that, let’s examine the Bengals’ season, Dalton’s future in the Queen City, and the fan reaction that made him so upset.
The Cincinnati Bengals’ lost 2019 season
The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t win a game in the 2019 season until December 1, when they defeated the New York Jets. They lost the 11 games that came before it. As a result, they lost the chance to play postseason for the fourth consecutive year early in the season.
Andy Dalton’s year as starting quarterback was just as much of a train wreck. While he passed for almost 400 yards and four touchdowns in the Week 16 game against the Dolphins, he was benched earlier in the season.
The Week 17 game in which Andy Dalton played poorly yet led the Bengals to a win against the Cleveland Browns may be his last game as the Bengals’ quarterback.
Andy Dalton’s future in the NFL
Andy Dalton explained that a lot of things factored into how the season turned out. He said a lot of things happened in each game that prevented the team from winning. It’s hard to pinpoint any one thing he explained.
The quarterback who joined the Bengals in 2011, handled a rough season and the temporary benching with dignity. He explained that his family and faith got him through it.
Dalton overall has made a positive impact on the Cincinnati Bengals organization. When he took the reigns as the quarterback, the Bengals were coming off a 4-12 season and the Carson Palmer breakup. At the time, the Bengals had three losing seasons in the previous four. Dalton helped prevent the team from having another losing decade like the 1990s.
His first year, they had a 9-7 season and made the postseason for the first time in years. The Bengals were 50-26-1 in Dalton’s first five years as the starting quarterback. They went 0-4 in the playoffs, and that’s a detractor on the quarterback’s record.
Still, Dalton led the team to their most successful time in the history of the franchise. He only missed eight games due to injury making him a highly reliable player.
The crowd goes wild, and Andy Dalton hates it
The game against the Dolphins appeared to be over halfway through the fourth quarter with the Bengals down 35-12, but they rallied. With three fast touchdowns and a couple of two-point conversions, they tied up the game, which went into overtime. The Dolphins scored a field goal to win 38-35, and the Bengals suffered their 14th loss of the season.
But with the loss came the assurance of the top pick in the draft for 2020. According to Yahoo Sports, fans were cheering, hoping for the top pick and a better season in 2020 even before the current season was over.
It’s easy to understand why fans would be excited about bringing new talent to the team, considering how the 2019 season went. Andy Dalton did not care for the fans cheering, though:
“Those type of fans, they aren’t true fans,” Dalton said. “If you’re a fan of the team, you want them to win. You want them to be successful. Every time you’re out there, you want to win.”
Several of Dalton’s teammates weren’t happy about the reaction of the crowd, either.
Bengals’ wide receiver Tyler Boyd claimed fans were outside looking in. He told ESPN that if the fans want the team to lose, they aren’t real fans. Boyd went on to explain that they weren’t in it for the fans but for each other, the coaches, and everyone helping the organization.
What will the Bengals do with their No. 1 NFL draft pick?
There’s much speculation that Cincinnati may use the top pick to acquire Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. The young quarterback and Ohio native took the LSU Tigers to the College Football Playoff with 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns this year.
Considering Dalton’s six-year contract is up after the 2020 season, his days at Cincinnati might be numbered.
But nothing is set in stone. Owner Mike Brown just might be willing to accept potential offers to repurpose a roster that hasn’t had a playoff appearance in the last four seasons. They may be willing to trade down and pass on Burrow.