The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Cincinnati Bengals on the road this coming Sunday and if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive and strong, they’ll have to come away with a win. While the Bengals enter the against the Steelers game with a three-game winning streak, their quarterback hasn’t played overly great in his last four games.
For starters, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is just 69-of-118 passing for 715 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions in his last four outings. Now, in his defense, he did play this past Sunday with the flu in the Bengals win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, the stat that sticks out the most to me when looking at Dalton’s play over the course of his last four games is his completion percentage when throwing 16 or more yards down the field.
While Dalton has completed 39.9% of all deep throws so far during his career, in the last four games he’s completed just 4 of 21 (19%) passes that have traveled 16 or more yards past the line of scrimmage. Also, only one of those throws went for a touchdown while four others were intercepted.
On Sunday, Dalton will face a Steelers defense that has allowed 56.3% of all deep throws to be completed against them this season and that ranks them near the bottom of the league in that stat. The defense has made several mediocre quarterbacks look good this season when it comes to deep passing and if that happens again Sunday in Cincinnati, they can probably forget about playing in the post season.