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Andy Dalton continues to take his lumps

Andy Dalton

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton passes during NFL football training camp, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011, in Georgetown, Ky. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)


Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton’s first preseason game was pretty rough, even if his offensive coordinator Jay Gruden insists it wasn’t a total debacle.

We’ll call his second start a partial debacle, although Dalton did improve as the game wore on after a very rough start.

Dalton’s first drive: Three and out.

Second drive: Interception off a bad drop from receiver A.J. Green.

Third drive: The Bengals go way backwards after Dalton made a bad handoff to Cedric Benson.

Fourth drive: Another interception by Dalton.

Fifth drive: Another three-and-out.

Yeah, that’s a full debacle. The good part is that Dalton didn’t seem to get too discouraged. Buoyed by some good running and one big screen pass, the Bengals went on a long touchdown march to start the second quarter.

They made another decent drive that stalled later in the half.

In the end, Dalton finished 8-of-19 for 86 yards and two interceptions. We don’t want to draw too many conclusions from the preseason, but the Bengals would love to avoid even a partial debacle next week so Dalton can gain a little confidence.