It’s looking like the Saints will be starting Andy Dalton in London. Jameis Winston hasn’t practiced all week and is doubtful on their injury report.

Dalton won’t necessarily hurt the passing game much. It’s not as if Winston has been playing well. Dalton might be better in terms of avoiding key mistakes.

But Dalton hasn’t done anything that suggests he might give the offense some kind of spark (particularly with Michael Thomas not playing). It’s become clear in recent years that Dalton is more of a backup than a guy anybody wants operating their offense.

Jay Gruden somehow got Dalton to throw 27 and 33 touchdown passes in the 2012-13 seasons, parlaying that into a head coaching job, but that version of Dalton is long gone.

Most troubling, Dalton had a golden opportunity to reestablish himself in 2020, when Dak Prescott got hurt early in the season. Despite having a good cast around him, Dalton fell flat that year. He followed that up by struggling with the Bears, and Dalton wasn’t good at the end of his run in Cincinnati.

NFL seasons nowadays are 17 games. Dalton has averaged 238 passing yards in his last 17 full games, with 25 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. He’s gone 7-10 in those starts, including games with the Bengals, Cowboys and Bears. He’s also averaged 10 rushing yards in those games, with 1 touchdown.

YearTm v OppResultComAttYdsTDIntRushing
2019Cin. v N.E.L 13-341731151142-1-0
2019Cin. at Mia.L 35-383356396400-0-0
2019Cin. v Cle.W 33-231628190118-10-1
2020Dall. v Ari.L 10-383454266122-4-0
2020Dall. at Was.L 3-2591975013-16-0
2020Dall. at Min.W 31-282232203313-5-0
2020Dall. v Was.L 16-412535215113-17-0
2020Dall. at Bal.L 17-343148285211-2-0
2020Dall. at Cin.W 30-71623185201-(-1)-0
2020Dall. v S.F.W 41-331933209202-8-0
2020Dall. v Phi.W 37-172230377315-15-0
2020Dall. at NYGL 19-232947244017-48-0
2021Chi. at LARL 14-342738206012-13-0
2021Chi. at Det.W 16-142439317116-11-0
2021Chi. v Ari.L 22-332641229242-6-0
2021Chi. v NYGW 29-31835173113-14-0
2021Chi. at Min.L 17-313348325121-7-0

Backing up the clock further, Dalton went 4-13 in his previous 17 games (all played in the 2018-19 seasons. He averaged 257 passing yards in those games, with 22 TDs versus 14 interceptions. He averaged 8 rushing yards in those games, with 3 TDs.

YearTm v OppResultCmpAttYdsTDIntRushing
2018Cin. at Atl.W 37-362941337312-13-0
2018Cin. v Mia.W 27-172030248114-10-0
2018Cin. v Pitt.L 21-282642229200-0-0
2018Cin. at K.C.L 10-451529148110-0-0
2018Cin. v T.B.W 37-342134280203-10-0
2018Cin. v N.O.L 14-511220153121-8-0
2018Cin. at Bal.L 21-241936211202-29-0
2019Cin. at Sea.L 20-213551418200-0-0
2019Cin. v S.F.L 17-412642311212-2-0
2019Cin. at Buf.L 17-212036250121-1-1
2019Cin. at Pitt.L 3-272137171013-8-0
2019Cin. v Ari.L 23-262738262202-5-0
2019Cin. at Bal.L 17-232139235011-2-1
2019Cin. v Jac.L 17-272243276134-33-1
2019Cin. at LARL 10-243252329101-4-0
2019Cin. v NYJW 22-62237243105-(-4)-0
2019Cin. at Cle.L 19-272238262013-11-0

Those mulling the Minnesota defense may interested to see that Dalton has taken 44 sacks in his last 17 games, with 4 fumbles (2 lost). In his previous 17 games, he took 49 sacks, with 7 fumbles (3 lost).

The Vikings started the season with strong outing against Aaron Rodgers but have slipped in their last two. They got 1 interception but no sacks against Jared Goff on Sunday.

Winston has taken 11 sacks and thrown 5 interceptions, with over half of those miscues coming against Tampa Bay.

—Ian Allan