Andy Dalton is a top-5 QB in our grades this season

Jim Seki explains the reasons behind Bengals QB Andy Dalton's fast start this season.

| 1 year ago
Andy Dalton

(AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Andy Dalton is a top-5 QB in our grades this season


The Cincinnati Bengals sit atop the AFC North with a perfect 4-0 record, in large part due to the play of quarterback Andy Dalton. He’s put up consistent numbers the first four weeks, possibly demonstrating that the Dalton-coaster is no longer open for business.

This is far and away his best four-game stretch of his career since being drafted out of TCU in 2011. Dalton currently has an overall +12.0 grade this year, fifth-highest behind Carson Palmer, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady.

His 10.2 yards-per-attempt (YPA) is tied with Big Ben for the highest mark. His league-leading YPA mark can be attributed to his third-ranked 60.0 percent deep passing accuracy. In only four weeks, Dalton has 10 completions on passes traveling 20 yards or more in the air after just 16 such completions all of last year.

Even though he’s throwing downfield more, Dalton is still getting rid of the ball quickly. His time to attempt of 2.18 seconds is fourth-fastest this season and is in good company — Brady, Phillip Rivers, and both Mannings round out the top five. Historically, Dalton has trended to throwing quickly — the last two years he’s been in the top two, but those were with around 7.0 YPA.

A good supporting cast could be part of the reason why Dalton looks so good. Along with a highly-rated offensive line, receiver A.J. Green is second among WRs with 3.50 yards-per-route-run (YPRR). The Bengals are also getting more out of the slot receiver and tight end positions—Mohamed Sanu’s YPRR is up from 1.04 to 1.89 and Tyler Eifert is up from 1.47 (2013 season) to 2.11. Still, they need someone to actually get them the ball and Dalton is executing those throws.

It’s extremely unlikely the Bengals run the table to finish 16-0, but if Dalton has truly quelled his variance, the franchise is poised for a deep run in the playoffs.

  • Evan DiPan

    THE GOAT

    • JonLee

      Now when you say goat…

  • KWS13

    As of Monday:

    “His overall grade (+12.0) through four games is his second-highest graded four-game stretch of this career, behind only the outstanding grade he earned (+15.5) over his final four regular season games in 2013.”

    https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2015/10/05/kc-cin-grades/

    And today:

    “This is far and away his best four-game stretch of his career since being drafted out of TCU in 2011.”

    https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2015/10/07/andy-dalton-is-a-top-5-qb-in-our-grades-right-now/

    Glad we’re all on the same page

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  • NAJ

    A GREAT offensive line, 2 top tier RB’s, a good upcoming TE and 1 of the best WR’s in the game helps massively. It’s no surprise that with this protection and array of weapons, he’s having his best season so far

    • Riffle,Rod&Fly

      We need to keep in mind that last year was COMPLETELY his fault. You know, when they only made the playoffs again and lost there… When Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert, A.J. Green, Jermaine Gresham and Andre Smith were all hurt.

  • crosseyedlemon

    You know you’ve come across a great writer with incredible insight when you read….
    “A good supporting cast could be part of the reason why Dalton looks so good.” and “… It’s extremely unlikely the Bengals run the table to finish 16-0…”

  • steve smith

    I like how one article on PFF says that this is the best 4 game stretch for Andy Dalton and another articles says “In fact, this isn’t even the best four-game stretch of his career, as he graded at +15.5 from Weeks 14 through 17 in 2013.”

    • Riffle,Rod&Fly

      It will take some time for the media to discover this fascinating, new team called the Bengals.