ICYMI: Sorry Dalton, AJ McCarron’s First Career TD Pass Was Ridiculous
Heading into their Week 14 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cincinnati Bengals were an inexplicably healthy squad, having avoided the injury bug that has bitten so many of the elite teams in the NFL. Unfortunately that didn't last.
The Bengals entered the game at 10-2 and in the driver's seat of the AFC with the number one seed in their grasp, but things took a turn for the worst when Andy Dalton threw an interception in the red zone and injured his thumb trying to make a tackle on the play.
The next man up was former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, who took over with the Bengals down 10-0 in the game. In moments like that, you look to your best players to help you out; and that player happened to be A.J. Green. Green is in the midst of yet another impressive, even historical season and he was every bit the superstar McCarron needed him to be when he tossed a deep pass down the sideline. Green was there not only to make the catch, but to burn two defenders on his way to the end zone for a 66-yard touchdown.
Not bad for his first big shot down the field.
In the interest of full disclosure, McCarron threw a pick-six not long after this. But that's to be expected from an NFC North quarterback getting his first regular season NFL action against the Steelers. What's not safe to say is whether or not the Bengals will be able to hold their ground in the AFC with an injured Dalton, who returned to the sideline with a hard cast on his lower arm.
Every game from here on out has playoff implications for the Bengals, most especially a Dec. 28th MNF game against the currently 10-2 Denver Broncos. In other words, homefield advantage throughout the playoffs could be decided in an epic late season showdown between...Brock Osweiler and AJ McCarron.
Yeahhhhh. Drink it in.
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