Dalton anticipates that offensive coordinator Bill Lazor will make significant changes to the playbook and scheme for 2018, Geoff Hobson of the Bengals' official website reports. "When we've changed coordinators in the past, the offense and the scheme and everything has stayed pretty similar," Dalton said. "I think this is going to feel a whole lot different than what we've done and the way we've done things."
Lazor was promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator in September when Ken Zampese was fired after Week 2. The in-season change didn't allow for a new playbook, forcing Lazor to work with a West Coast scheme that originally was installed by Jay Gruden in 2011 and maintained by both Hue Jackson (2014-15) and Zampese. Having previously worked under Joe Gibbs, Mike Holmgren and Chip Kelly, the 45-year-old Lazor is familiar with a variety of offensive philosophies and terminologies. Dalton struggled mightily while playing behind a porous offensive line last season, posting his lowest passer rating (86.6) since 2014 and worst completion percentage (59.9) since his rookie year of 2011. The Bengals re-signed Tyler Eifert and traded for left tackle Cordy Glenn in March, but they otherwise seem to be banking on Lazor, draft picks and in-house improvement to turn the offense around this upcoming season. It could work out well if Eifert and John Ross stay reasonably healthy, though the right side of the offensive line still appears highly problematic.
Dalton completed 23 of 44 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday's 31-27 win over the Ravens.
Dalton had difficulty connecting with A.J. Green (two catches on 10 targets) and struggled throughout most of the second half, but came up clutch in the final minutes. A 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd gave the Bengals the lead with only 53 seconds remaining, and ultimately knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs. Cincinnati certainly didn't have the 2017 season they would have envisioned, but were able to play season spoiler for division-rival Baltimore, and Dalton finished with one of his better performances of the year.
Dalton completed 27 of 41 attempts for 238 yards, one touchdown and one interception during Sunday's 26-17 win over the Lions.
Dalton completed a healthy 66 percent of his passes, but just one completion longer than 18 yards left him with a substandard 5.8 yards per attempt. Still, he mustered his highest yardage output since Week 10 and gave his team the lead with a one-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Uzomah in the third quarter. Dalton hasn't enjoyed the most consistent of seasons by any means and has now averaged a mere 182.3 passing yards per game over the last six, with nine touchdowns and four interceptions over that span. He'll face a tough matchup with the Ravens to conclude the season next week.
Dalton completed 11 of 22 passes for 113 yards and two interceptions without a touchdown or rushing attempt in Sunday's 34-7 loss to the Vikings.
Dalton was deservedly benched for AJ McCarron with Cincinnati trailing 34-0 in the fourth quarter. The Red Rifle's first interception was taken to the house by Minnesota's defense, and it's fair to question Dalton's job security after consecutive efforts under 150 passing yards.
Dalton completed 14 of 29 pass attempts for 141 yards, a touchdown and an interception in Sunday's 33-7 loss to Chicago.
The Bengals took a 7-6 lead after Dalton's touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell late in the first quarter, but it was all Bears after that. Dalton missed out on some potential garbage-time stats as he was replaced by AJ McCarron with 4:30 left in the fourth quarter. The TCU product is not a recommended option in another tough matchup at Minnesota in Week 15.
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