Few players in Bengals history evoke the polarizing spectrum of emotions as quarterback Andy Dalton. He’s had both massive amounts of success and incredibly disappointing performances in some of the biggest games in franchise history.
Still, there is little doubt that Dalton is one of the best players to suit up for the team in the Marvin Lewis era.
Statistics under Marvin Lewis:
Passing yards: 25,534 (third-highest in franchise history)
Touchdowns: 167 passing (third-highest in franchise history); 18 rushing
Rating: 88.7 (highest in team history with at least 350 attempts with the club)
Completion percentage: 62.3 (second-highest in team history with at least 350 attempts with club)
Wins: 63 (second-highest in team history)
Single-season passing yards marks: 4,296 (top in team history—2013); 4,206 (second-highest in team history—2016)
Single-season touchdown passing mark: 33 (2016—highest in team history)
Pro Bowls: 3 (2011, 2014, 2016)
Why he makes the list:
Leading the team to five straight postseason appearances: From 2011-2015, the Bengals had an unprecedented regular season run in their history. Though he had the occasional ups and downs, Dalton was particularly critical in the 2013 and 2015 seasons.
Unfortunately, an injury disallowed him to see the latter season through. Still, even with some frustrating performances over the years, he has provided stability after Carson Palmer quit on the club.
Franchise statistical leader: Whether it’s in his owning of single-season passing yards or touchdown marks, Dalton will go down as one of the best quarterbacks in team history. In every major statistical team category for quarterbacks, Dalton is either ranked higher or right below the likes of Ken Anderson, Boomer Esiason and/or Palmer.
An improbable franchise turnaround: After Palmer gave his 2011 offseason ultimatum to the club, most figured that the Bengals would be re-entering the “lost decade” of the 1990s once again. However, Dalton, along with other savvy acquisitions, has led the Bengals to be one of the better regular season teams in the NFL over the past seven years.
Why he isn’t ranked higher:
Zero playoff wins: What more is there to say, here? Even though Dalton missed perhaps his best chance at a postseason win because of a 2015 injury, he, along with many other critical players, have played in a deplorable fashion in these games.
Solid surrounding cast: Yes, Dalton has had his share of accolades, but some use the argument that that is because of some great players on both sides of the ball. Whether it was a high-ranking defensive unit, or the offensive units packed with talent, he’s had some quality rosters that guys like Palmer did not.