Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dalton returns home— again

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton lost to his hometown Texans in last season’s playoffs but gets another chance Saturday.

Associated Press

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton lost to his hometown Texans in last season’s playoffs but gets another chance Saturday.

CINCINNATI — Andy Dalton is getting a second chance to shine in a hometown playoff game. The first one didn't turn out well.

A year ago, the Bengals quarterback had one of the worst games of his rookie season in front of a lot of family and friends in Houston. He threw three interceptions, one DE J.J. Watt returned for a touchdown, in the Texans' 31-10 wild-card victory.

"It'll be fun," Dalton, a TCU alum from Katy, Texas, said Wednesday. "It's definitely cool to come back and play where I'm from."

Those friends and relatives — and those Texans — will see a quarterback who has improved in almost every statistical category.

He completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 3,669 yards, 27 touchdowns and an 87.4 rating. The only negative: his 16 interceptions compared with 13 as a rookie. "He's a guy that's grown," Bengals OT Andrew Whitworth said. "He's matured. I think he's ready for his opportunity."

Ravens-Colts: Rookie quarterbacks are 2-6 against the Ravens since John Harbaugh became coach prior to the 2008 season. That includes last season's 20-13 division win over Houston and T.J. Yates. Sunday, it's the Colts' Andrew Luck.

"I can't tell you any secrets," Baltimore DT Arthur Jones said. "But we've got a little niche going. We've definitely got something going that's … been working for us against rookie quarterbacks to isolate them and prevent them from performing at high levels."

Under Harbaugh, Baltimore has allowed just two rookies, Dalton in 2011 and the Browns' Brandon Weeden in September, to throw for more than 300 yards. Overall, rookies have thrown four touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

"I would hesitate to say that you worry about going up against a great defense like the Ravens," Luck said. "But you definitely have an incredibly healthy respect for what they do and how they can affect games and change the game so quickly."

Texans: Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said he's "worried" about starting LB Tim Dobbins' availability for Saturday. Dobbins has been battling a shoulder problem over the last half of the season and was held out of practice Wednesday. Houston put starting LB Darryl Sharpton on injured reserve Tuesday with a hip injury. Dobbins' absence could mean more playing time for former Florida State LB Mister Alexander, who re-signed this week, and former Bucs LB Barrett Ruud.

Dalton returns home— again 01/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 9:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa lands Super Bowl in 2021

    Bucs

    Tampa's Super again. Or at least it will be soon.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 


Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  2. Why Ryan Fitzpatrick may solve the puzzle for Bucs at backup quarterback

    Blogs

    Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to leave One Buc Place following Thursday’s off-season workout and fly home to New Jersey in time to teach a class of 10 second and third grade students how to solve the Rubiks Cube.

  3. For starters: Rays vs. Angels, with Cobb leading the way

    Blogs

    Rays veteran RHP Alex Cobb had a lot to say Monday about the team needing to focus on getting past .500 and building a winning record.

    And after the disappointing 3-2 loss that …

    Alex Cobb will start tonight when the Rays play the Angels.
  4. Family a driving force for University of Tampa pitcher David Lebron

    College

    TAMPA — For University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron, baseball reminds him of family. He uses it to help honor the memory of his father, who taught him the game. One day, he hopes his career can help support his mother and allow her to rest.

    University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron (Courtesy of University of Tampa)
  5. L.A. delay could re-open Super Bowl chance for Tampa in 2021

    Blogs

    Construction delays on the NFL's new stadium in Los Angeles mean the Rams and Chargers won't be playing there until 2020, a year later than expected, and the ripple effect could give Tampa another …

    Tampa and Raymond James Stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.