The Red Rifle - Past, Present and Future
Here are some awesome stats I dug up which qualify the fact that Andy Dalton has always been a winner. Going back to his senior year in high school when he took Katy, TX to a 14-1 season. In high school he threw for 15,550 yards, posting 70 TDs and 10 INTs in that time while becoming the Texas Bowl MVP.
Highly recruited out of high school, he landed at Texas Christian.
His time at TCU was a microcosm of how I feel his NFL career could develop. His sophomore year (he was redshirted his freshman year) he was a good game manager. Throwing for about 2,500 yards and completing 60 percent of his passes, with about a 1-1 TD to INT ratio. He also added 5 rushing TDs on top of that.
His junior season was similar yardage wise, but he obviously worked on his decision making, and red zone efficiency, improving to post higher than a 2-1 TD-INT radio while adding 8 rushing TDs. He missed 3 games due to a leg injury.
Dalton really began to show people what he can do his senior season, while improving his completion rate to 66% while posting nearly a 3-1 TD to INT ratio and 3 rushing TDs.
The type of quarterbacks NFL teams salivate over are QBs who constantly improve and seem to get better and better with time. Quarterbacks with a mile-high ceiling. Quarterbacks that can will their teams to victory. Quarterbacks that don’t choke under the bright lights, or against tough competition. Quarterbacks that can win the big one.
His 5th year at TCU Dalton became that playmaker. The guy that you count on to win the game for you. Throwing for nearly 2,900 yards while posting better than a 4-1 TD to INT ratio in passing 27 TDs and only 6 INTs in addition to 6 rushing TDs. He led the Horned Frogs to an undefeated season and a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, throwing one TD and running for another while earning MVP honors in that game.
Some stats that just jump out at you about Dalton is that during his career at TCU, starting all 4 years of his eligibility, he only lost 8 games.
5 of those 8 losses came in his first season as the starter at TCU in 2007.
Two more losses came his second season at TCU, against #2 Oklahoma and #8 Utah. That second season ended with a win over # 9 Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl in 2008.
In 2009 Dalton led TCU to an undefeated regular season, but they lost by one score in a rematch of the previous year’s bowl game to #6 Boise State.
In 2010, Dalton again led the team to an undefeated regular season, and capped it off with a Rose Bowl win over #5 Wisconsin. It is worth mentioning that due to the current BCS system, TCU was screwed out of a chance at playing for the Championship.
So, to recap, he won 42 games out of 52 starts. Including two undefeated seasons and 3 bowl wins. I’m not absolutely positive, but as far as I can tell, he only missed 3 starts in those 4 years.
It is very much worth noting that not a single TCU wide receiver has been drafted in those 4 seasons, meaning Andy didn’t have very much talent around him in the passing game.
Fast forward to week 7 of the NFL. As we know, Andy was taken as the 5th overall quarterback in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft. Given the keys to an unproven and young, albeit talented offense, Dalton has never looked back.
While having one bad game against the 5-1 49ers, three good games and two great games. One shining moment was in Week 4 against the Bills. Dalton overcame two first half interceptions, including a pick-six and came back to throw for 298 yards and a TD to fellow rookie A.J. Green. Before the Week 7 bye, he has already lead the oft-beleaguered Bengals to surpass the win total most analysts said the Bengals would have at seasons end, with a 4-2 record, including two fourth quarter comebacks. WR A.J. Green has had a large part in those wins, as well as 2010 first round pick Jermaine Gresham, and a solid Top 3 Defense. What makes it all more amazing is that Cincinnati is only the 19th best rushing team averaging less than 4 YPC. Heading into Week 8, Ced Benson will be suspended, which will allow the Bengals to test other options in a sometimes struggling running attack.
As I said earlier, I feel the Red Rifle’s college career is a microcosm of what his pro career will be. A more than solid game manager at present, with huge upside.
This link to another FanPost references Andy’s development compared to some other star quarterbacks in their rookie years.
Also for those of you who haven't already seen it, NFL network had Dalton mic'd up last week vs the Colts. He really seems to have firm control of this team, as well as great chemistry in the huddle and on the sidelines.