This is one week where Joe Flacco is under more pressure than Andy Dalton.
The Bengals are riding high at 2-0, and Dalton is playing as well in the young season as almost any NFL quarterback, completing 41 of 60 passes for five touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a 120.0 quarterback rating.
Meanwhile, the Ravens are 0-2, and Flacco’s stats pale in comparison – two touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 75.7 quarterback rating.
Dalton’s biggest struggles have come during the postseason, the stage where Flacco has played his best football. That’s the biggest knock on Dalton, his 0-3 playoff record and his failure to raise his game in clutch situations like Flacco has.
However, for Dalton to start the season so strongly shows resiliency. He has plenty of critics, even in Cincinnati, where Dalton was booed at a celebrity softball game during the summer. So far, Dalton seems unfazed by the scrutiny. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said during a Wednesday conference call that having thick skin was one of Dalton’s attributes.
“I think that’s been one of Andy’s strengths throughout his life,” Lewis said. “As a professional quarterback, obviously, the noise gets louder and louder and louder. The big thing for him is just continue to play within himself, continue to be the leader of the football team, and I think he’s really done a nice job growing to embrace that through his career here.”
Dalton has won his last three starts against the Ravens, while no team has given Flacco more fits than the Bengals. Look at Flacco’s career stats against the Bengals – 13 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, 69.59 quarterback rating.
Yes, there is more pressure on Flacco than on Dalton this weekend. Flacco won’t have a 2015 postseason unless the Ravens start winning.