Originally written on WhoDeyFans  |  Last updated 11/20/14
How often do you hear it said? “Quarterbacks get too much of the credit for wins and too much of the blame for losses.” No matter how often guy like Cris Collinsworth remind us, we are still eager to heap the praise and the criticism on one guy. There is no denying that Andy Dalton’s play was rough in the final quarter of the season, culminating in an offensive stink bomb in Houston that would make Orkin proud. But I have to concur with my compadre Eric’s assessment that Andy has taken more than his fair share of the blame for the offense’s late-season woes. From my vantage point, here is where the blame ought to lie. 1) The Offensive Line. I say it all the time: the game is won in the trenches. And this year, the line struggled mightily in pass protection. Much of that had to do with Whitworth playing a bit gimpy and Cook being brought back from a significant foot injury when perhaps he shouldn’t have. In 2011, Football Outsiders ranked them 4th in pass protection. In 2012, that ranking tumbled all the way to 28th, giving up nearly double the amount of sacks from the year before. So, yeah, they had plenty to do it. 2) Jay Gruden. The guy leapfrogged from the UFL all the way to NFL offensive coordinator, and we are still seeing evidence of the learning curve. His decision to “get other guys involved” and basically ignore his best player TWICE was sophomoric. His plays often lacked misdirection, timeliness and creativity. When we have a good idea from our couches what is coming, you bet your booty the defense on the field does too. And that ain’t good. 3) Andy Dalton. His game still has room to grow on several levels. Not hitting receivers in stride is a big pet peeve for me. He settled the questions from last off-season about his arm strength, but the accuracy of his deep ball is lacking. With the consistent instability of the pocket, he did not show the decisiveness or patience I’d prefer to see. I think all of these will improve if/when the line returns to its previous pass-blocking form. 4) Lack of a second receiver. Waiting for Jermaine Gresham to be come that guy is starting to seem futile. I’ll have more to say on this in the days to come. Again, I am not exonerating Dalton from blame for how the offense struggled in 2012. But I am not going to put nearly as much blame as talk radio and the Twitterverse is, either. However, I do want to see a big step forward from him in 2013. Third year guys are not going to get the slack that younger guys do.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kentucky remains unbeaten after thrilling win over ND

Alabama DT arrested on domestic violence charges again

John Calipari blasted for postgame interview

WATCH: MJ, Tom Brady play pickup game in Bahamas

WATCH: Wrong national anthem played for El Salvador


WATCH: Russell Wilson smashes HR in Rangers BP

John Fox: Jay Cutler will have to earn starting QB job

Report: Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall candidates for Texas

Kurt Warner is helping to turn around Colin Kaepernick

Bizarre call allows Duke to cover spread against Utah

Saints love TE Josh Hill following Jimmy Graham trade

Sam Dekker's hot shooting sends Wisconsin to Final Four

Jim McElwain complains about Florida roster

Mark Few: I put Coach K up there with John Wooden

WATCH: Enes Kanter embraces boos in return to Utah

Mariners prospect dies from boat accident injuries

T.J. Ford sends heartfelt tweet about Rick Barnes

Bruins coach suits up as backup goalie

Tennessee fans show love for Bruce Pearl on campus rock

Louisville guard turned off phone after clutch NC State win

Steve Spurrier hung out with Kenny Chesney before concert

Winnipeg Jets prospect had a rough night on the ice

Did Dean Smith’s gifts to former players violate NCAA rules?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.