Bengals QB Andy Dalton (12.29.19)
Take us through what you saw today …
“It was a complete game. This is what we’ve been looking for all year. So to be able to run the ball the way we did, and with defense causing turnovers, this is what we expected going into the year. It’s good to end this season on a high note, with a win.“
When you took the last two kneel-downs, did you think back on your career here at all?
“I mean, I wasn’t going through my whole career — not a life-flashing moment (laughs). I get that it could have been the last snaps. I’ve played my career in a Cincinnati Bengals uniform. What better way to do it, if it is the case. Again, guys, I don’t know. I have no idea what’s going to happen. If it is, you always want to end a game by taking a knee.”
The crowd was chanting your name as you walked off the field. What does that mean to you?
“It means a lot. There’s been a lot of support from this city, for not only what we’ve done on the field, but what we’ve done off of it. This city’s meant a lot to me and my family. Like I was talking about earlier this week, I’ve spent my whole married life here, and my three kids have been raised here. The city has meant a lot to us. It feels good to get the appreciation from the fans chanting my name.”
As you prepared for today’s game, did it cross your mind as to how this may be your last game here?
“No, it did not.“
If this is your last game as a Bengal, what does it mean to walk off a winner?
“It means a lot. You always want to end the year on a high note, regardless of how the season has gone. To get this one done, it meant a lot. We’ve been striving to play a complete game this whole year, and we hadn’t done it enough. We finally felt like we did that today.”
What does Joe Mixon’s reckless abandon when running do for the team?
“It gets everybody going. It gives you that momentum. Guys love seeing it. Joe runs so hard. The hits that he takes, and the hits he puts on people, are something that’s special to him. It’s something not a lot of backs can do. Joe is arguably one of the best backs in this league. I think the way he ran the ball today shows it.”
Trey Hopkins called Mixon’s energy ‘contagious’ …
“Yeah, that’s a great way to put it. Guys feed off of it. Joe’s confident. I think I’ve said it before, but confidence is contagious. When you have these big runs and you have these big plays, it gives everyone the confidence that we’re going to get this thing done.”
Is there anything that stands out from today as special?
“Yeah, I think taking that last knee and knowing that we won this game. Obviously there was so much that was good. I thought the energy that we had on the sideline and the energy that we had during the game were big. The defense causing the turnovers was huge. The offense was feeding off of that, and I felt like we had everything going in our favor today. The way we carried ourselves today, the way that we came out, it showed a lot. With them scoring a big-play touchdown, and for us to come right back down the field and score to answer that, it was huge. It was just a complete game today.”
On your rushing touchdown, did you think you were going to hit the pylon?
“No. Once I got out, I wasn’t sure what was coming right next to me. Once I got the edge, I felt like I was going to score.”
It was a bit of a flashback to your one receiving touchdown …
“Yeah, I did think that once I hit the pylon. I was thinking that was really similar to the touchdown that I caught (in 2014).”
What was the difference in culture this year, as opposed to years past?
“There’s a lot of good stuff from both staffs. One thing that’s been great from this one is that we’ve been able to handle the adversity of this season. To have as many losses as we’ve had, the guys are sticking together. That’s a big testament to Zac (head coach Zac Taylor). That’s one thing that shows that Zac is doing this thing the right way.”
You obviously don’t know what’s going to happen with your future, but what do you want personally?
“I want to be a starter in this league. I know I can do that. I just want the opportunity to be a starter. We’ll see how that goes.”
When will the Bengals inform you about the future?
“I don’t know. I have no idea what’s going to happen, guys.”
Can you sum up your experience in this town?
“I was just talking about it earlier. This city’s been great to us. A lot of support has been received in this city. This city has been our home since I got drafted here, and this city’s meant a lot. I’m thankful for all the people that we’ve met. There’s been a lot of good people in Cincinnati who have pushed me, my wife and my family to be better people, and we’re grateful for that.”