The NFL decided to revamp and reintroduce their Pro Bowl Skills Challenge event in an attempt to spice up the Pro Bowl weekend, much in the manner other leagues have skills competitions during their All-Star schedule. How serious anybody took these events is an open question, but some pride was likely on the line. One of the players whose performances were most noticeable in Orlando on Thursday was Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.

The challenges

This year's Pro Bowl Skills Challenge pit the AFC and NFC up against each other. With the AFC trailing on the leaderboard 2-1, they turned to Dalton in the Precision Passing competition.

He struggled right from the start before recovering to record 16 points, which tied him for second/third with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Luckily, AFC teammate Philip Rivers was there to pick up the team.

That left the Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball game as the last event. Dalton had a chance to redeem himself once again, but the quarterback crashed out hilariously early in the competition, relegated to the sideline as the NFC found themselves victorious in the Pro Bowl Skills Challenge.

Disappointing season

Dalton had been elevated to the AFC Pro Bowl roster because New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dropped out of the game to focus on the Super Bowl. His status, however, doesn't mean it was a successful season for him in Cincinnati.

He threw for over 4,200 yards and completed 18 touchdowns, but also threw eight picks and fumbled nine times. He wasn't one of the top ten quarterbacks in Football as hoped for and the Bengals struggled to a 6-9-1 record.

In order for the Bengals to get back to the playoffs next season, Dalton is going to have to be the franchise quarterback he is expected to be.

It didn't help to have injuries to running back Giovani Bernard and wide receiver A.J. Green, but there can't be any excuses in the NFL. If he doesn't perform next year, coach Marvin Lewis will be out of a job, and Dalton may not be far behind.

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