One of the greatest receivers in Cincinnati Bengals history says it's time for Andy Dalton to step up and play like an elite quarterback ... or he's gonna get benched.
TMZ Sports spoke with T.J. Houshmandzadeh about the Bengals' 0-2 start to the season ... and he says Dalton's miscues are a big reason why they're still hunting for their first win.
T.J. says there are no more excuses now that Cincy fired its offensive coordinator, Ken Zampese ... and says all the pressure's on Dalton to succeed.
T.J.'s a big fan of the backup QB, A.J. McCarron ... and thinks if his number's called, he'll be ready.