Andy Dalton didn’t even try to sugar coat it.
The veteran quarterback for the Chicago Bears threw four interceptions in the team’s Week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals while filling in for injured rookie Justin Fields. It was the fifth time in his career Dalton threw 4+ picks, and after the game, he gave a frank and self-critical assessment of his performance.
When asked if his first interception, a high and wide ball over the middle intended for receiver Jakeem Grant was a good throw, Dalton did not mince words. “No. I left it a little high and a little behind him,” the Red Rifle admitted. “The thing that is unfortunate in this league is that tipped balls usually don’t find the ground. They usually find the other team’s hands. We saw that three times today.”
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Dalton: ‘I Had 2 Tackles Today’
Dalton completed 26 of 41 passes for 229 yards, two TD’s, and a season-high four picks, finishing the game with a 54.9 QB rating. He didn’t attempt a pass over 20 yards, and he had a hard time throwing the ball over the outstretched arms of Arizona’s d-linemen. His fourth INT came on a bad read on a screen:
“You can’t do that,” Dalton said about his mistake-filled day. “You can’t turn the ball over four times and expect to win the game. That hurt us. There’s a lot of factors that go into it, but you can’t do that and expect to win, especially against a really good team.”
The Bears QB also succinctly summed up his performance this way:
“I had two tackles today. Unfortunately. So.”
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Bears HC Matt Nagy Responds to Dalton’s Bad Day
The 34-year-old QB has had a rollercoaster of a year, after being named the starter initially before getting benched in favor of Fields by Week 5. Dalton played well enough Week 12 on Thanksgiving to beat the Detroit Lions, but he couldn’t get it done against the Cardinals, the NFC’s current top seed.
“You go back and you say, OK, how are the picks happening?” Bears head coach Matt Nagy said about Dalton’s performance on December 5. “Andy will tell you you don’t want those … no matter who you’re playing, four turnovers is gonna hurt you. Our guys know that.”
With Fields still nursing cracked ribs, Dalton is going to get the nod to start until the rookie has been medically cleared to play — and that hasn’t happened yet. For what it’s worth, Nagy didn’t seem too upset with Dalton after the four-pick performance.
“There’s no stat in the NFL for interceptions that occur that aren’t on the quarterback, but there probably should be. Every game’s a little bit different. Andy’s gonna be the hardest on himself, and there’s different reasons why. … I think Andy understands that no matter what, he wants to be able to put us in good situations and positions and he tried today. He tried to do that. It’s unfortunate the turnovers happened. It’s a part of football. But he continued to battle. He battled the entire game and he was a leader with these guys. He never stopped fighting and you’ve gotta give him a lot of credit for that.”