Andy Dalton is ready to take the Bengals further than Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason.
Dalton is off to a great start, the offense is flying and Cincinnati is 4-0. Nevermind the fact Dalton is 0-4 in the playoffs. Book a February trip to Santa Clara, Bengals fans.
One quarter of the NFL season is in the books, so let’s overreact to what we’ve seen.
Sure, Dalton and the Bengals have been impressive. But they have four wins against teams with a combined record of 6-10. Let’s see where they stand after a tough three-game stretch against Seattle, at Buffalo and at Pittsburgh.
Besides, there’s a pair of unbeaten AFC teams with pretty accomplished quarterbacks who will make the path to Super Bowl 50 tough. Tom Brady and the Patriots are 3-0. Peyton Manning and the Broncos are 4-0.
The Bengals host Denver on Dec. 28 in a game that could have home-field ramifications.
Here are other overreactions from Week 4:
OVERREACTION: Chip Kelly can only win in college. The Eagles blew a fourth-quarter lead and fell to 1-3 with a 23-20 loss at Washington.
REALISTIC REACTION: They’re a kicker away from 3-1. Cody Parkey missed a field goal in the fourth quarter in a 26-24 loss at Atlanta in Week 1. Caleb Sturgis missed an extra point and a 33-yarder against the Redskins. The Eagles were 1-3 in Kelly’s first season in 2013 and rallied to win the NFC East. Plus, the division is weak with three teams tied at 2-2.
OVERREACTION: The Cowboys are doomed without Tony Romo. Dallas is 0-2 with Brandon Weeden after a 26-20 overtime loss at New Orleans.
REALISTIC REACTION: It’s not Weeden’s fault. He led the Cowboys to 28 points in a loss to Atlanta and threw a tying TD pass with 1:51 left against the Saints.
OVERREACTION: The Fins are fried. A 27-14 loss to the Jets in London dropped the Dolphins to 1-3 and cost coach Joe Philbin his job.
REALISTIC REACTION: The Dolphins have a bye so it was the best time for owner Stephen Ross to make a change. They have winnable games against Tennessee (1-2) and Houston (1-3) coming up so new coach Dan Campbell has a chance for a quick turnaround.
OVERREACTION: Who dat gonna beat dem Saints! Drew Brees returned from a shoulder injury and led the Saints to their first win over Dallas in overtime.
REALISTIC REACTION: They’re still 1-3 in a division where the Falcons and Panthers are 4-0. It’ll be a tough road for the Saints, who travel to face an angry Eagles team.
OVERREACTION: K.C. is cooked. A 36-21 loss at Cincinnati put Kansas City at 1-3.
REALISTIC REACTION: The Chiefs lost to Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Dalton in the past three weeks. They could be 3-3 after playing the Bears and Vikings the next two weeks.
OVERREACTION: Let Johnny Football play. The Browns lost 27-20 at San Diego and are 0-3 when Josh McCown starts. They’re 1-0 when Johnny Manziel starts.
REALISTIC REACTION: McCown threw for 356 yards and two touchdowns against the Chargers. Blame that loss on the defense. He has completed 66.3 percent of his passes and has a 98.1 quarterback rating. Unless Manziel can also play defense, McCown deserves to stay in there.
OVERREACTION: The Lions are going 0-16 again. Detroit is the only winless team in the NFL after a 13-10 loss to the Seahawks.
REALISTIC REACTION: If an illegal bat on the Seahawks was called after Calvin Johnson fumbled into the end zone, the Lions would’ve upset Seattle on the road. They’re better than 0-4.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org. Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_RobMaaddi