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Andy Dalton's Annual Mid-Season Hot Streak Might Be Upon Us

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Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has his share of critics, but when he is playing well, he's among the best in the NFL at his position. After two straight wins and two great Dalton performances, we could be seeing a trend where Dalton gets hot around the midpoint of the season.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

To say that Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has his share of critics is putting it lightly. It seems that both media members and Bengals fans are torn on the quarterback and wonder if he is the guy able to bring Cincinnati an ever-elusive Super Bowl win, much less a lone playoff victory.

The truth is that, in his two and a half seasons in the NFL, Dalton has proven to be a streaky player. Unfortunately for the Bengals, the streaky nature swings in both positive and negative directions. However, when reviewing some of Dalton's stats and success in the league, he seems to play his best football around the mid-season point. And, after two wins and impressive numbers by Dalton heading into Week Seven, Dalton might just be getting as hot as Hansel right now.

Though there isn't really a rhyme or reason on this, there seems to be a glut of games right smack in the middle of the schedule where Dalton plays as well as some of the league's elite at the position. Have a look:

Year Weeks Passing Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Rating (avg. through the weeks) Team Record During Those Weeks
2011 5-11 1,641 12 8 85 5-2
2012 8-11 938 10 1 106.9 3-1
2013 6-7 709 6 1 120.9 2-0

What is even more eye-popping is that in the past two weeks alone, Dalton has thrown more touchdowns (six) than he did in the previous five games (five). Additionally, the 709 passing yards in the last two wins make up 37 percent of Dalton's total passing yards on the year (1,924).

There are obviously a number of factors that come into play here. Finding a groove and gaining cohesion with the fellow offensive players, the schedule (both referring to opponents and whether they were home or away), playcalling and overall team health. Even still, Dalton's numbers don't discriminate on who he has been playing against per se, as there were a number of quality opponents beaten in these three stretches.

So buckle up Bengals fans, we could be seeing a streak of more quality games ahead from Dalton. He will be facing a stout Jets defense this week, but if history repeats itself, he and the rest of the Bengals should be fine.