Andy Dalton Struggles in Homecoming Games

By: John Glaser

Ever since Andy Dalton has left Texas to become the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback his homecomings have not been so kind. In his pro career Dalton has a total record of 1-4 record against the Texans and 1-2 when those games are played in Houston prior to the Bengals Christmas eve showdown with the Texans.

Dalton and the Bengals came into the game to be the spoilers and keep the Texans from winning the AFC South title after learning that the Tennessee Titans had lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Both teams struggled to move the ball in the first half with both teams combining for 12 punts and the Texans only putting up 34 total yards of offense. The Bengals looked to have a great opportunity to pull out a road victory after going in at halftime up 3-0 on a Randy Bullock field goal to close the first half.

The Texans finally were able to get some offense going after not being able to cross the 50-yard line in the first half and moved down the field to tie the game with a field goal of their own. A Nick Novak 25-yard field goal with 9:05 left in the 3rd quarter followed by a 22-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter which put the Texans up 6-3.

On the Bengals ensuing possession Dalton was picked off by Texans Quintin Demps who recorded his career-high fifth interception. After the interception, the Texans drive stalled and they gave the ball back over to the Bengals who took the lead after Dalton found Brandon LaFell on a short pass that resulted in an 86-yard touchdown making the score 10-6 Bengals with 11 minutes left I the game.

The Texans responded driving down the field and capping off the drive with a 24-yard touchdown run by Alfred Blue which was setup by a 21-yard catch by DeAndre Hopkins to put the Texans up 12-10 after the Texans Novak’s extra point was blocked.

Dalton would eventually drive the Bengals into field goal range late in the game setting up a 43-yard field goal attempt by former Texan Randy Bullock which sailed wide right as time expired clinching the victory, division title, and playoff berth for the Texans and leaving Dalton 1-5 against the Texans and 1-3 in his home town since he turned pro.