‘Red Rifle’ Andy Dalton meeting former team when Chicago Bears host Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday

Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton drops back during a game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. (AP photo)

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Andy Dalton remembers how strange it felt playing against the Bengals as a member of the Dallas Cowboys last season. That the game was in Cincinnati made it that much more emotional for the veteran quarterback.

“It was cool for me, though, because they received me well,” Dalton said Wednesday. “My wife and I, we poured a lot into the city, into the community, into the organization and everything. I was well received.”

Dalton goes against the Bengals for the second time in as many years when they visit the Chicago Bears on Sunday. And this one figures to be a little less emotional than when he faced them last season.

“I kind of got that out of the way last year, and now I’m just focused on doing what we can to win the game,” he said.

The Bears are looking to bounce back from a season-opening, 34-14 loss to the Rams in Los Angeles. The defense got picked apart by Matthew Stafford, and Dalton did little to quiet the calls for prized rookie Justin Fields.

Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton leaves the field after a game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif. (AP photo)

He gets another chance, and beating the Bengals again, as he did last season, wouldn’t hurt.

“Andy has obviously been playing at a high level for a long time,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “He’s a smart player and is going to put his team in a great position to do really good things, so we certainly have our work cut out for us.”

Dalton’s return to Cincinnati was one of the highlights of his lone season in Dallas. He threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-7 romp.

It was a sweet win for a quarterback who made three Pro Bowls in nine seasons with the Bengals. He led them to the playoffs his first five years after they drafted him out of TCU in the second round in 2011, but he never won a postseason game. He was released after Cincinnati drafted Joe Burrow No. 1 overall.

Dalton signed with Dallas as a backup, then wound up making nine starts with Dak Prescott suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5. The Cowboys finished 6-10.

Dalton was the face of the franchise in Cincinnati and holds most of the team’s passing records.


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