A few weeks ago, we published the results of how Andy Dalton would do on each AFC team for a full season (in Madden, at least) to see how he would fare with varying rosters. Dalton was traded to each AFC team through the video game and played a full season (plus playoffs when eligible) with each team. Through 16 seasons (one with each AFC team), he had two Super Bowl rings and a number of other playoff appearances. One of the Super Bowls even came with a surprising Chargers team, which barely sneaked into the playoffs as a wild card. It honestly couldn’t have gone much better for Dalton in the AFC. Now, we have done the same exercise for Dalton in the NFC and are going to look to see how he does with the teams in the other conference.
Check out the above video for stats and highlights from Dalton’s 16 NFC seasons worth of football, and for the quick results, see below, in order of worst to best results!
This was very surprising, the Eagles may not have the best supporting cast, but they have a good offensive line. I thought if anything would bring down the Eagles’ season it would be their poor secondary. However, overall Dalton had a poor season with a barely positive touchdown interception ratio at 18:17. I have no idea why Dalton had such a poor season, but it looks like the defense was also terrible with this kind of record. No team goes 2-13-1 if at least one side of their game is going well.
This season really surprised me. The Seahawks’ offensive line is not very good and I thought maybe that was what caused the Seahawks to have a bad season, but overall despite a decent amount of pressure, Dalton had a pretty good season. That would lead me to believe the Seahawks’ defense was what caused the bad season, which would be extremely surprising. However, that has to be the way it went with Dalton’s decent season and the Seahawks’ poor season.
It is not surprising at all that the 49ers had such a bad season and that Dalton had a bad season with them. His offensive line was in shambles and the offensive skill positions can only be described as terrible. Their defense is also awful and really there isn’t many redeemable qualities about the roster. Of course you would expect a quarterback who is good to raise the people around him. However, Dalton was awful finishing the season with an 11:12 touchdown to interception ratio.
A lot of people compare Cousins to Dalton as an average quarterback. This adds up looking at this season; Dalton had a run of the mill season and the Redskins did not do great overall. Dalton was alright and did some stat padding with nearly a 100 passer rating, but that stat can be deceiving at times and I believe it was here. Dalton had a decent, but not great season with Washington’s roster.
Well, the Bengals former franchise quarterback now plays for the Cardinals and in this exercise the Bengals took him back and gave Arizona the Bengals’ current franchise quarterback. It didn’t end up working out for the Cardinals as they gave up 65 sacks, which is even crazier than the Giants (see below). Also, the Cardinals do have some big holes on the defensive side of the ball with just average linebackers and a rotating cast of cornerbacks opposite Patrick Peterson. Even with superstar running back David Johnson, the Cardinals were not able to overcome their issues and Dalton and the Cardinals fell apart. Although, Dalton did have a decent season when it came to his personal stats.
The Giants had a really terrible season and Dalton didn’t help make it better. He was sacked nearly 60 times which is a crazy amount. The Giants have a terrible offensive line, but they have great skill position players and a fantastic defense. They had the league's best defense last season and should continue to have one for awhile considering how much money they are spending on that side of the ball. That defense was not enough to make up for the terrible offensive line and bad play from Dalton.
The Rams are not a good team and they haven’t been for the past few years. The offensive line was a wreck across the board until they signed Andrew Whitworth and now he is their only good offensive lineman. The Rams have no true wide receiver one and even gave Tavon Austin, a small-time gadget player, a big contract. Todd Gurley looked like a star in his rookie year, but quickly fizzled out when teams started mercilessly stacking the box against due to the passing game possessing no real threat. The defense has some nice pieces, but with how poor the offense is, it can’t make up for it. Even adding Dalton to the mix didn’t do much to help them.
The Bears had the worst record of the NFC North and it makes sense as they also had the worst record among the NFC North in 2016. The Bears have a good trio of interior offensive lineman, but their offensive tackles are average, at best, and can be considered a weakness. Their offensive skill position weapons are inconsistent and their defensive secondary is just terrible. Dalton had a bad season and that led to the Bears’ poor season and last place finish in the NFC North.
This is about the season that I expected the Saints to have, but it didn’t exactly come the way that I expected it. I thought the Saints would struggle defensively and force Dalton to carry them with a good season. I was right about the Saints asking Dalton to throw the ball a ton, but Dalton largely did not live up to the task. The defense was alright and the biggest problem was Dalton himself. Dalton had a 22:17 touchdown to interception ratio, despite the Saints having a good offensive line and good offensive weapons. This poor season was mostly Dalton’s fault.
I expected a playoff trip for Dalton and the Packers. With their strong front seven, great offensive line, and strong offensive weapons, it looked like success on paper. This did end up leading to great statistical season by Dalton, but in the end, the Packers were not successful as a team during the season. Without Aaron Rodgers the Packers would struggle and Dalton could not replace him.
I’m surprised Dalton had the same record with the Vikings and Packers. But, it does make some sense as the Vikings’ strong defense can cover up problems with their offense. And there were certainly problems with the offense. Dalton was sacked a ton and that led to a very bad year for him with a quarterback rating below 90 and a completion percentage below 60. With his 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio, Dalton was a problem instead of a solution for Minnesota and Mike Zimmer.
In the NFC North, Dalton was very consistent, as in consistently turning in Jeff Fisher-like seasons. With three straight 8-8 seasons Dalton has yet to make the playoffs and has been on disappointing teams each time. The Lions were a team I thought Dalton would have a bad season with because of the way Madden simulations work. With their mostly poor defense and a couple big holes on the offensive line, paired with no great running back or role players at receiver. Dalton was due for a terrible season. Overall though, Dalton had another great season, though he was sacked a ton and the Lions also missed the playoffs.
The Falcons ended up losing in the Super Bowl in 2016 after a great season and a large part of that was due to the great play by Matt Ryan. So it makes sense that when he is replaced by Dalton the Falcons wouldn’t do quite as well. Dalton had a great season, rarely turning the ball over, but the Falcons struggled overall and had a poor record. The biggest blame is probably on the lack of impact pass rushers. Dalton didn’t have a MVP level season like Ryan, but he played great anyway.
The Panthers had a bit of a Super Bowl slump in 2016 after having a nearly perfect season in 2016 and failed to get even close to the playoffs last year. This did not change with Dalton as they also missed the playoffs after going 8-8 with the Bengals’ quarterback. It makes sense considering the Panthers lost their star cornerback in Josh Norman and failed to replace him adequately. Additionally, their offensive line isn’t great and their wide receivers struggle to create separation. This all caused Dalton to suffer and the Panthers’ whole roster followed suit. It was much like their actual season with Cam Newton in 2016.
The Buccaneers are a team on the rise with Jameis Winston under center and youth movements at positions across the board. They have one of the top young wide receivers in the game in Mike Evans and a decent offensive line. Dalton had what I would consider a solid season. If you only look at his touchdown to interception ratio, you would think he had a great season, but if you look at his poor yards per attempt at 6.7 you can see that although he was safe with the ball and threw a ton, he was very inefficient. This helped lead to a poor season for the Buccaneers overall as they missed the playoffs.
Cowboys: 12-4: Conference Championship Loss
The Cowboys had a great season with Dalton under center and Dalton had a great season with the Cowboys. Unfortunately, they didn’t make the Super Bowl, but they had a great season and postseason run. Dalton had an extremely impressive 70% completion percentage. The Cowboys had an underrated secondary last season and even though their defensive line isn’t great, the defense can play better than expected. Dalton performed well with their great running back, wide receivers, and top ranked offensive line.
That’s it for the NFC...a bunch of 8-8 and only one playoff appearance, which ended in a conference championship loss. This group of 16 seasons was definitely disappointing when compared to the great seasons and Super Bowl championships Dalton had in the AFC. Maybe this just goes to show the AFC is a better conference than the NFC. I don’t know why Dalton performed so much worse in the NFC, but I know he is a good quarterback and hopefully will lead the Bengals to their own Super Bowl victory this season.