Bengals' Dalton is taking too many sacks

May, 28, 2013
5/28/13
4:20
PM ET
In addition to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton experimenting with the trajectory of his deep throws, The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy noticed that Dalton was working on quickening his drops in the pocket. Based on statistics from Pro Football Focus, Dalton needs to speed up his decision-making as well.

Dalton was responsible for taking nine sacks last season, according to PFF. That ranked as the third-most in the NFL last season behind the Packers' Aaron Rodgers and the Seahawks' Russell Wilson. In comparison, the rest of the starters in the AFC North -- Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger and Brandon Weeden -- combined for one fewer than Dalton.

Pro Football Focus says quarterbacks take responsibility for sacks when they have over four seconds to throw the ball and get taken down or run straight into a defender when other options are available.

It was a strange season for Dalton and sacks last season. In the first 12 games, he was sacked 27 times, an average of 2.25 per game. In his final four in the regular season, he was sacked 19 times, an average of 4.75 per game. The Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers all recorded at least five sacks on Dalton in December.

Overall, Dalton was sacked 46 times, the third-most in the NFL. That's substantially more than the 24 sacks in his rookie season. The Bengals offensive line obviously has to block better, and some will say it goes back to going from Trevor Robinson to Kyle Cook at center. But Dalton has to help out the line by getting rid of the ball quicker, too.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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