Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) calls a play against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals decimated the Oakland Raiders in an impressive 33-13 Week 1 victory. The victory was so impressive that we may have gotten carried away with Cincinnati’s ranking in our weekly Power Rankings series, especially after seeing a huge performance from Week 1 MVP, Tyler Eifert. We some some tremendous play from three key players, but we also saw a couple of bad plays, notably Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones‘ dirty post-play helmet smash on Amari Cooper. Despite this, the Bengals now sit atop the AFC North standings and are red hot as they prepare to face the San Diego Chargers in Paul Brown stadium on Sunday. Speaking of red, let’s take a look at the Bengals’ first ever Silent Standout.
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The Silent Standout award is the award we’re going to give to the Bengals player who had a great performance but didn’t receive the recognition he deserved after the game. We all know that Tyler Eifert was the game’s MVP, and rightfully so, but his quarterback didn’t receive nearly as much recognition for a performance that was almost equally dominant.
Andy Dalton is our first Silent Standout award winner. Yes, he was facing a below-average Raiders defense, but regardless, Dalton performed extremely well. He completed 25 of 34 passes (73.5 percent completion rate), airing it out to the tune of 269 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Red Rifle gained 7.9 yards per pass attempt, throwing very few uncatchable passes and avoiding a single sack or turnover. Andy Dalton’s performance went so under-the-radar that the NFL’s own Elliot Harrison had this to say about the Bengals in his weekly Power Rankings (after a great performance from Dalton, keep in mind):
"“Little to not like about the Bengals’ blowout win in Oakland. The offense averaged 6.1 yards per play while the defense held the Raiders to a mere 4.0 yards per play. That’s a sizeable differential when averaged over 126 plays in an NFL game. That said, no one gets excited over Cincinnati winning in the regular season anymore, and that’s just the way it is. Not unless Andy Dalton plays lights out.”"
Harrison must not have watched the game; Dalton was lights-out! What more could you ask for from an NFL quarterback? Dalton’s fantastic performance wildly flew under the radar, so he’s our Silent Standout of the Week.
Be sure to let me know who else you’re excited about on Twitter @CHoweSports or in the comments below.