I posted this as a comment but thought I would elaborate on it with a fan post. However before I start, let me point out it's crazy to try and determine how tough a schedule will be (any year) before a single game is played because teams, players, and coaches are always changing from year to year, therefore no team is going to be exactly the same from one year to the next. Having said that, many of the Andy Dalton "haters" have been pointing out that he may struggle in 2012 because it appears he will be facing stiffer competition. In reality that's not necessarily true in regards to Andy Dalton and the Bengals offensive unit.
In 2011, the Bengals and Andy Dalton (as rookie) played 10 of there 16 regular season games or 62.5% of there games against teams who ended up in the top 10 in defense for the year (Pitt. (twice), Baltimore (twice), Cleveland (twice), Jacksonville, Houston, San Fran., and Seattle). In 2012, aside from our own conference the Bengals will be scheduled to play NFC east and AFC north teams. Those two conference combine to have only 1 team that ended up in the top 10 defensivley for the year and that was the Eagles who ranked #8.
To show just how impressive Andy Dalton's rookie year actually was all you have to do is go back and look at Cam Newtons numbers against teams that ranked in the top 10 defensively. Cam Newton who many beleive (including myself) had arguable the greatest seasons ever for a rookie QB (4,000+ yds passing) only played against two teams (Jacksonville and Houston) that ended up in the top 10 defensively for the year. Against Jacksonville he threw for a total of 158 total yards, and against Houston he only managed 149 total passing yards.
The point of this article is just to show that with a full off season and a another year under his belt a sophmore slump is highly unlikely for Andy Dalton and he should be fine in 2012. Although it appears the TEAMS the BENGALS will play in 2012 will be better as a whole, Andy really earned his stripes in 2011 playing against the best of the best in regards to the defenses he faced week in and week out (37.5% of the games he played as a rookie were against the TOP 4 defenses in the entire league, Pitt., Balt., 49ers, and Texans).