I swear to God this last 24 hours has probably been the most emotionally challenging stretch in all of my days on Earth. Had the lowest moment of my life yesterday sitting in a Hooters in Richmond, Kentucky watching Andy Dalton break his thumb along with any hope for a postseason victory, immediately followed by the AJ McCarron show, the Pete Rose non-reinstatement, and now Andy Dalton might play again this season. Too many more days like this and I’m not sure I’m going to make it. Either way, best case scenario for the Bengals. We’re kind of getting the best of both worlds, actually. We’re gonna get a chance to see what AJ McCarron is really made of and whether or not he’s going to become the quality backup that still gives you a chance to win like the Bengals hoped for when we drafted him. We’re also gonna hold out hope that Andy might, MIGHT play again this season. In a perfect world, AJ starts and wins this Sunday in San Fran because San Fran sucks and I think a week of prep coupled with his first real action yesterday and his winning pedigree is more than enough to win out west. We’re still going to have to win in Denver if we want to get that first round bye which is CRITICAL if we want to get Andy another week of rest. Not saying that’s going to happen, but it’s not like a win in Denver was set in stone even with a healthy Dalton. I’m also not ruling out McCarron being able to take us into the playoffs and win either, bye or no bye. It all depends on the matchup. Like I don’t know if he can knock off the Steelers or Denver or Brady, but I certainly think AJ is more than capable of holding his own against an Alex Smith or a Blake Bortles or a Ryan Fitzpatrick. Maybe even a one kidney Andrew Luck too. Saying that, I don’t think that we should totally discount Andy not being able to play the rest of the year. Just because he hasn’t officially been ruled out doesn’t mean he may not be able to go. A broken thumb is a broken thumb and if he can’t grip it and rip it like he’s supposed to then we’re gonna have to ride the McCarron train as far as that can take us. Not saying that Dalton won’t be able to go, I think he will. It’s not like that fracture has to be 100% healed, as long as he can get out there and sling the rock effectively then he should be good to go, but the bottom line is we’re not dead in the water just yet. We’re still kind of fucked, but with McCarron having ample time to prepare and keep us afloat along with the possible return of Dalton means that pipe dream of holding that Lombardi trophy high is still a possibility.
Tell ’em how you feel, Marv