The Cincinnati Bengals are off to the best start in franchise history, and that's thanks in large part to Andy Dalton being off to the hottest start of his NFL career.
After leading the Bengals to perfect marks in September and October, Dalton has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October, the NFL announced Thursday. It's the second time Dalton has won this award after earning it in October 2013 for the first time. This time around, Dalton edged out Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the award after both signal-callers had an outstanding month.
Andy Dalton vs. Tom Brady in October. Dalton seems like a fair choice for AFC Player of the Month pic.twitter.com/83ikNPqnxm— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) October 29, 2015
In the Bengals' most recent game, a 34-21 win over the Bills, Dalton completed 23 of 33 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns while not taking a sack or committing a turnover. That was the fourth such game in which Dalton didn't take a sack or commit a turnover out of six this season. That happened only twice in 2014, and it's just one of many examples of how Dalton has improved his play dramatically this season.
As for the season in total, Dalton is up to 16 total touchdowns (14 passing, 2 rushing) vs three turnovers through his first six games. He has also notched a 100-plus QB rating five times this season. His previous season totals for such were four in 2011, six in 2012, six in 2013, and four in 2014.
Dalton also ranks first in the NFL in passer rating (116.1), first in total QBR, first in yards per attempt (9.12), 12th in passing yards (1,761), ninth in completion percentage (67.4), and sixth in passing scores (14). At this rate, he'll be winning more awards as the NFL season rolls along, especially if the Bengals keep winning and remain in contention for one of the AFC's top seeds in the playoffs.