Can New Orleans Saints quarterback Andy Dalton keep rolling in a tough Week 9 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens?
His biggest obstacle, as corny as it may be, is himself. Dalton has struggled in primetime games in the past, currently holding a 5-20 all-time record. If he loses to the Ravens on Monday, Dalton will become the league's worst quarterback to play under the bright lights with at least 15 primetime starts since 2000.
His statistics aren't just bad -- they're historically bad, and Dalton will have to figure out a way to overcome the nerves and play a clean game against Baltimore.
Dalton's last primetime win was way back in September of 2018 against none other than the Ravens. In that Sunday night fixture, Dalton put up four touchdowns and 265 passing yards to beat Baltimore 34-23.
Yet Dalton may be more notoriously remembered for his disappointing primetime outings, as evident by his pitiful record. For his part, Dalton doesn't seem bothered by the spotlight and told ESPN's Katherine Terrell playing in primetime isn't something he's "concerned" about.
Andy Dalton is ready to change the narrative in Saints vs. Ravens primetime matchup
"Obviously, early on [with the Bengals], we had some prime-time games against some really good teams and weren’t able to come with victories in those games, but it’s not something I’m concerned about."- Andy Dalton
After a 24-0 win over the Raiders, Dalton enters Week 9 in his best form of the season so far. In Week 8, Alvin Kamara's burgeoning success in the run game allowed Dalton to sit back more, but the veteran quarterback still recorded two touchdowns and no interceptions and earned a 117.2 QB rating.
In five starts in 2022, Dalton is 2-3 and has thrown nine touchdowns against four picks, and the key to his success against Baltimore will be limiting turnovers while generating consistent rhythm in the passing game.
Head coach Dennis Allen has since reinforced his faith in Dalton, claiming that Dalton, not Jameis Winston, will be the Saints' starting quarterback moving forward: "It's his show to run right now, and we'll see how that goes."
Dalton may have won the starting spot, but he hasn't yet redeemed himself when it comes to playing under the lights.
History is certainly not on his side. The Saints have lost their past three primetime games at home. And there's that ugly 5-20 stain on his career record.
While Dalton can't completely wash away his past blunders, he can at least write a new narrative for himself in black and gold.