BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 20: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks to pass against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 31-24. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
When the Bengals selected Andy Dalton in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft they envisioned him as their quarterback of the future. Dalton was taken after several quarterbacks, some who were supposedly going to be better than Dalton and that may be the case down the road, but for now Dalton is proving to be the better quarterback from the 2011 draft class.
After ten games Dalton is silencing any critics out there. Through 10 games Dalton has passed for 15 touchdowns. Dalton joins the ranks of former Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino and Indianapolis Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning for the most touchdown passes all-time in any quarterback's first 10 games regardless of whether or not it's their rookie season.
Dalton has been doing it all so far this season. He has been making accurate passes, smart decisions, rookie mistakes, and has done some damage outside of the pocket. It's all part of the developmental process for Dalton.
He has made the transition from college football to the pros better than most quarterbacks do and considering the situation he was thrown into, his season is that more impressive. When he was drafted the NFL was still under a lockout and players weren't able to practice with coaches. Also the Bengals didn't know what their quarterback situation was going to be since Carson Palmer was threatening to retire.
However, Dalton met up with his teammates to get acclimated and practice with them. And once the lockout was lifted teams and players only had approximately one month to prepare for the season. Dalton didn't have time to watch from the sidelines to learn the game. Instead he was thrown right into the lineup and his been starting since week one. The fact that he has learned the game so quickly and under unusual circumstances makes his season even more special.
Dalton has passed for at least one touchdown in nine of the Bengals' 10 games. The only week he failed to make it to the end zone was against the San Francisco 49ers when the Bengals lost 13-8. Other than that he has been able to connect with one of his receivers for a touchdown.
Every week Dalton continues to impress us with his game-calling and precision passing. And it's paying off in a big way for Dalton and the Bengals.