Coach Zac Taylor said Andy Dalton will be the Bengals starting quarterback moving forward, pushing Finley back to a reserve role, Geoff Hobson of the team's official site reports.
During his three-game run as the starter, Finley averaged 158 yards per game, posted two touchdowns versus two interceptions and racked up 10 carries for 77 yards. Those modest numbers and his inability to get the Bengals their first win of the season may have made Taylor's decision an easy one. Nonetheless, Finley will return to the bench.
Finley completed 12 of 26 pass attempts for 192 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 16-10 loss to the Steelers.
Finley completed just 46 percent of his pass attempts while averaging a lackluster 7.4 yards per attempt. He connected with Tyler Boyd for a 15-yard touchdown in the second quarter and finished without a turnover, but he simply couldn't make the plays necessary to topple a divisional opponent such as this. The coaching staff plans to stick with Finley moving forward, according to Ben Baby of ESPN.com, but he doesn't carry much fantasy upside into next Sunday's matchup with the Jets.
Finley completed 13 of 31 pass attempts for 115 yards and an interception Sunday against the Raiders. He also carried three times for 47 yards in the 17-10 loss.
Finley struggled mightily against a beatable Raiders pass defense, completing just 42 percent of his passes while averaging just 3.7 yards per attempt. He did manage to make an impact as a runner, averaging an impressive 15.7 yards per carry, but it wasn't quite enough to make up for his ineptitude as a passer. Finley fared better last week against the Ravens, but next Sunday's matchup with the Steelers could present plenty of challenges as he tries to bounce back.
Finley completed 16 of 30 passes for 167 yards with a touchdown and an interception during Sunday's 49-13 loss to Baltimore. He added 22 yards on five carries and lost a fumble.
The stat line isn't particularly impressive and the scoreboard paints an ugly picture, but the rookie made some nice plays in his debut, particularly a well-placed six-yard loft to Tyler Eifert just before halftime for his first career touchdown. Cincinnati is speeding toward the top pick of the draft, so the Bengals figure to get a long look at what Finley offers on a depleted roster that is still without A.J. Green (ankle). Week 11 could be brighter, as the Bengals visit Oakland and a pass defense that ranks 29th in the league in opponent quarterback percentage (109.1).
Finley was named the Bengals' starting quarterback Tuesday, Geoff Hobson of the team's official site reports.
With the move now official, Finley is taking over for long-time Bengal Andy Dalton. Finley will inherit a unit rife with injuries along the offensive line and no clear timetable for A.J. Green's (ankle) season debut. The Bengals currently are on bye, so Finley's first chance to direct the offense will be Sunday, Nov. 10 against the Ravens.
Finley is expected to take over for Andy Dalton following the Bengals' Week 9 bye, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
After reaching the midpoint of the season without a win, first-year coach Zac Taylor is turning to the 2019 fourth-rounder, who has yet to take a snap as a professional. In his final three campaigns at North Carolina State, Finley tossed at least 3,000 yards on each occasion while posting a 60:25 TD:INT in 39 games. Helping his cause further will be the return of A.J. Green (ankle), who is expected to make his 2019 debut at some point after the bye.
Finley was 20-of-26 for 150 yards and two touchdowns against Washington in Thursday's second preseason game for the Bengals.
Finley did all of his work with the Bengals second-team offense, whereas Jeff Driskell worked with the third team. Finley appears to be on his way to winning the backup job behind Andy Dalton.
Finley appears to have moved ahead of Jeff Driskel in the battle for the No. 2 role behind starting quarterback Andy Dalton, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic reports.
Finley has a number of factors working in his favor. His draft status as a rookie fourth-round pick and his performance in practice and in the first preseason game -- where he connected on 12 passes in a row -- are likely the chief reasons that Finley will emerge from the competition with the backup job. Additionally, the Bengals saw plenty of Driskel last season -- and the mediocre results that came with that -- which may have been a main motivation in selecting Finley in the first place. The fact that Driskel has been getting some reps at wide receiver is also indicative of his declining standing.
Finley saw his first extended action with the Bengals' second-team offense in Monday's practice, frequently scrimmaging against the first-team defense, Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com reports.
Finley has been behind last season's backup Jeff Driskel for the first part of training camp, but he had a good day Monday. Still, the fourth-round pick is likely to begin the season third on the depth chart.
The Bengals selected Finley in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, 104th overall.
The North Carolina State product is at an advanced age for a rookie after spending six years in college. Finley has an NFL level frame at 6-foot-4 and 213 pounds but the arm strength is middling at best. His calling card is his accuracy and feel for the game; Finley completed over 65 percent of his passes in each of his last two seasons in college. He'll be Andy Dalton's backup but any assumption that he's the heir apparent in Cincinnati is likely too optimistic. Finley profiles as a game-managing backup.
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