Andy Dalton: The Hero Buffalo May Have Deserved, But Definitely Needed

4th and 12… Game on the line… enter… Andy Dalton? Damn right, Andy Dalton.

The Red Rifle (yes, that is his nickname. Hey at least it’s not… alright you get it) came up big for the Buffalo Bills, and I guess the Bengals, on Sunday afternoon. With Cincy at 6-9 and no chance to play postseason football, Andy Dalton says f*** you Baltimore and threads the needle to Tyler Boyd for a 49 yard score in the final minute of the fourth quarter.

In case you missed the play on Sunday afternoon, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bECuPlKegaY

As I watched Dalton and the Bengals stun the Ravens at home, I quickly realized there were still 38 seconds left on the clock. “Plenty of time”, I thought. A small glimmer of hope for the city of Baltimore. “They could still win this! All they need is for…” I paused. “… Joe Flacco… to come in… clutch?” The statement turned into a question. I knew they were doomed. There are plenty of quarterbacks in the NFL that can score a touchdown with 38 seconds left and 73 yards to cover. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, just to name a few. Joe Flacco? Nope. Not gonna happen. I was right. Here’s a quick review of the drive:

1st and 10 (BAL 27) – Short pass to Benjamin Watson that you would usually see on 2nd and 10 in the first quarter, not in a must win game with 38 seconds left in the 4th quarter.

2nd and 5 (BAL 32) – Offensive line gets rocked. Sorry Joe. Nowhere to go bro. Sacked.

3rd and 14 (BAL 23) – Gotta go long now right? Wrong. Here’s a short pass to Mike Wallace. Incomplete.

4th and 14 (BAL 23) – Now you HAVE to throw it past the sticks… right? Nope. Short pass to Watson, ran for about 6 yards after the catch, picked up 13 total yards, you needed 14. That’ll do it.

END OF GAME

The win for Cincinnati knocked Baltimore out of the playoffs and gave Buffalo their first postseason appearance since 1999.

Did anybody really expect anything else to happen? Even Baltimore fans at the game knew it was over with the Bengals late TD. It was quiet as hell during the last drive. They knew it was hopeless.

The ending to this game tells me a few things:

1. Baltimore VS Cincinnati next season – it’s going down.

2. Andy Dalton is never going to be allowed to eat crab legs at Phillip’s Seafood (shoutout) in Baltimore ever again.

3. If Andy ever wants to play for the Bills, then he will play for the Bills.

Man, there’s nothing more I want this postseason than to see Buffalo make a run. Unfortunately with Pittsburgh and New England on the same side of the bracket, a trip to the Super Bowl seems farfetched. However, one of the greatest phrases in the English language keeps Buffalo fans full of hope… YOU NEVER KNOW. That’s the greatest thing about the NFL. Anything can happen.

 
Happy New Year to all! GO BILLS

 

Photo: “goo.gl/Qrk5xM

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