The New Orleans Saints lost in Week 4 with Andy Dalton under center, yet there's a case to make for Dalton starting more games this season.
With Jameis Winston still dealing with his various injuries, Dalton got the start in London against the Minnesota Vikings, and all things considered, Dalton played a respectable game.
The former Bengals quarterback finished with 236 passing yards and one touchdown against zero interceptions, earning a quarterback rating of 108.6. Of course, the end result is less than desirable as the Saints notched their third loss of the season, but the Saints were just a few feet away from potentially winning this game.
Wil Lutz's game-ending 61-yard field goal attempt ultimately fell short, doinking off the upright and then the crossbar. A field goal would have tied the game, and Dalton had been playing well enough that the Saints could feasibly win it in overtime.
Dalton's quarterback style is very different from that of Jameis Winston and he admittedly doesn't carry as much upside as Winston, yet it was Dalton who found a way to get the offense going early in the game.
Saints should continue to start Andy Dalton at QB until Winston feels 100 percent
Whereas Winston had to slog his way into the fourth quarter to get the Saints on the scoreboard, Dalton threw a touchdown in the second quarter to Chris Olave and drove down the field again in the third to score another six points.
Dalton was buoyed by Latavius Murray's surprisingly efficient rushing performance on Sunday, but nonetheless he looked comfortable in the pocket and was able to generate consistent offensive rhythm with Chris Olave, Marquez Callaway, and even Adam Trautman.
On paper, the game shouldn't have been close with the Saints missing key players like Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Andy Dalton made it a competitive matchup using the pieces he had and showed up when NOLA needed him most.
Dalton did record an unfortunate fumble, though we'd take that over Winston's three-pick games any day.
And at this point, what else do the Saints have to lose? Winston hasn't completely healed from his injuries and could use the extra rest. NOLA is 1-3 and sitting at the bottom of the division after starting Winston in three games; rather than continue to jam a square peg in a circular hole, it's worth giving Winston a longer break and seeing what Dalton can accomplish on the field.
After four weeks, Jameis Winston has proven to be more of a problem than a solution to the Saints' offensive woes. Andy Dalton definitely isn't a long-term fix at the quarterback position, but at least he's not the problem.