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2016 Bengals Bold Predictions: Andy Dalton will win NFL MVP

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Another in a series of bold predictions for the Bengals' upcoming season, we look at the case for why Andy Dalton will win the NFL MVP award for the 2016 season.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Since being drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, as the fifth quarterback off the board, Dalton has been compared to the rest of the quarterbacks selected that year. Initially he was compared to Ryan Mallett, a quarterback the Bengals passed on to draft Dalton. Then after Colin Kaepernick’s flash in the pan career was flashing, Dalton was being compared to him. Dalton has surpassed both of those quarterbacks, and now the only comparison is with the top overall pick in 2011, Cam Newton, as for who will emerge as the top quarterback selected in 2011. Newton won the NFL’s MVP award last season – can Dalton win the award this year?

Why this Bold Prediction is absurd:

Andy Dalton has only once topped 3,700 passing yards or 30 touchdowns in his five year career. He has never won a playoff game. Also, Dalton has never been named an All-Pro, or even been in consideration for All-Pro status. So suggesting that he jump all the way up to the league MVP seems a bit absurd. But is it really that absurd?

Why this Bold Prediction is feasible:

To be named the MVP, Dalton will need to have a great season. Fortunately for him, he has the teammates in place to do that. He has a very good offensive line that can give him time to throw the ball. He also has an elite wide receiver in A.J. Green, an elite tight end in Tyler Eifert, and a very good receiving running back, Giovani Bernard. Dalton won’t be forced to do it alone, but will have the tools to assist in compiling a great season.

Nine of the last ten NFL MVP awards have gone to the quarterback on the team with the best record in the league. The one exception to that came in 2012 when All-Pro running back, Adrian Peterson, returned from an injury shortened year to rush for 2,097 yards. Each of the other nine years has seen the award go to the quarterback on the team with the best record.

  • 2015: Cam Newton 15-1
  • 2014: Aaron Rodgers 12-4
  • 2013: Peyton Manning 13-3
  • 2012: Adrian Peterson 10-6
  • 2011: Aaron Rodgers 15-1
  • 2010: Tom Brady 14-2
  • 2009: Peyton Manning 14-2
  • 2008: Peyton Manning 13-3
  • 2007: Tom Brady 16-0

Before Dalton’s injury in 2015, the Bengals were 10-2 and in the hunt for the best record in the NFL. The Bengals are loaded for another great season in 2016, and could make another push for the top record in the NFL. If the Bengals do achieve the top record in the NFL, it would be very reasonable to expect that the NFL MVP voting would again go to the quarterback, which would be Andy Dalton.

Before the 2015 NFL season began, if you would have suggested that Cam Newton would emerge as the MVP winner, it would have been quite a bold prediction. Not only had Newton lost his top wide receiver before the season even began, but he was coming off a season in which he only threw for 3,127 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Those are solid numbers, but not exactly the numbers that put you into MVP consideration. The moral of the story is that if you are a quarterback, and your team performs well, then you can become the MVP, even if your prior track record has never screamed "MVP".