Statistically, the first three years of Andy Dalton's career have been among the best in NFL history. Few signal-callers have got off to the kind of start Dalton has.
In fact, this year he’ll bid to join the Ravens' Joe Flacco as the only starting QBs in the Super Bowl era to lead a team to postseason in each of his first four seasons.
In 2013, Dalton became the fifth starting QB to reach playoffs his first three seasons, joining Flacco (’08-10), Pat Haden of the Rams (1976-78), Dan Marino of the Dolphins (’83-85) and Bernie Kosar of the Browns (’85-87)
Dalton, Peyton Manning and Cam Newton are the only NFL passers to top 3000 yards in each of their first three seasons.
Speaking of Manning, Dalton's career to this point has been statistically similar to the future Pro Football Hall of Famer.
While this is nice, Chris Chase of USA Today Sports pointed out why numbers can be very deceiving, especially early on in a player's NFL career.
1. Among the most similar players to Dalton (according to pro-football-reference.com): Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Joe Namath, Ben Roethlisberger, Fran Tarkenton
Also on that list: Ken O'Brien, Steve Grogan, Marc Bulger
2. Dalton made one Pro Bowl in his first three seasons, just like Tom Brady.
Dalton made one Pro Bowl in his first three seasons, just like Derek Anderson.
3. Dalton has the 22nd best QB rating in NFL history. That places him ahead of John Elway, Phil Simms, Warren Moon, Eli Manning and Joe Flacco.
Dalton ranks one spot behind David Garrard, who is No. 21.
4. Dalton threw 33 touchdown passes in his third season, the same as Peyton Manning did in 2000.
Scott Mitchell threw 32 touchdown passes in his third season as a starter (1995).