CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 16: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after a touchdown during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium on October 16, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 27-17. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Quarterback Andy Dalton is already the first rookie quarterback in franchise history to win four consecutive starts as the Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback. He beat out ESPN sensation and love child, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who really deserves the attention he's getting while putting up ridiculous numbers in every statistical category save for wins, which may have earned Dalton the offensive player of the month in October. Dalton is the recipient of a serious man-crush going on with mostly 99.9% of the male fanbase (woman just want his kids) due to his pose during pressure situations that's putting Cincinnati into a position to win.
If Dalton's season continues at this pace, then his numbers at the end of the year will look like:
They don't blow you away. But it's not the numbers throughout the season that we're really concerned about. Within the final two minutes of either half, Dalton is completing 69.2% of his passes for a passer rating of 103.4. Four of his nine touchdown passes have come on third down and when faced with a third down (or fourth) and nine (or longer), Dalton is completing 66.7% of his passes for a passer rating of 94.3. When the Bengals snap the football anywhere form the opposing 19-yard line to the goalline, Dalton's performance dramatically improves, scoring eight touchdowns (seven passing, one rushing) without an interception for a passer rating of 107.8. He doesn't turn the football over in situations that the Bengals are in a position to score, and that's huge (and unlike Carson Palmer).
"You got to do what is asked," Dalton said. "But you definitely have to find the time to still study."
That being said, he knows he has a long way to go.
"I've definitely missed some throws. I got to be better at making quick decisions and getting the ball out of my hands. Just a little bit of accuracy. A lot of that has to do with some footwork; I definitely notice it and am trying to clean it up."
He's just a rookie. A seven-game old rookie.