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Wednesday, October 9, 2013
QB Watch: Bengals' Andy Dalton

By Coley Harvey

A weekly analysis of the Bengals' quarterback play.

Dalton
Dalton
Rewind: When Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton stepped into the huddle for the first time Sunday, few of the 64,000 inside Paul Brown Stadium knew what to expect. Would the Dalton of Week 4 show up? The one who threw for 203 yards and stumbled to a season-low 29.7 QBR? Or the one who, in his only other home games this season, torched Pittsburgh and was timely against Green Bay? To the relief of Bengals fans nationwide, the latter faced the Patriots. On 27 attempts, Dalton completed 74.1 percent of his passes; a mark second only to his 78.9 percent showing in the Week 1 loss to Chicago.

Fast-forward: Dalton will be looking to showcase a measure of consistency this Sunday when he makes the first trip of his young career to Buffalo. Against a similarly young defense, look for him to continue spreading the ball to his multitude of playmaking options. In addition to receivers A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones, he has found success this season connecting with running back Giovani Bernard and tight ends Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert. The key for consistency is making sure he divvies up the receptions somewhat equitably.

Multiple targets: Dalton was fairly balanced with the players he tried to get the ball to against New England. He targeted his running backs and tight ends 15 times and his receivers 12 times. Green had the most targets of any player, having eight passes thrown his way.

Prediction: Because of Dalton's inconsistency, it's tough to make an accurate prediction on how he'll do against Buffalo. Still, look for him to have at least 30 passing attempts, distributing them evenly among his playmakers much as he did last week. The deep ball has worked against the Bills on occasion this season, so this may finally be the week Dalton can successfully go long.