Oct 4, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (77) linebacker Chris Carter (51) offensive guard Kevin Zeitler (68) wait for the introductions before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati defeated Kansas City 36-21. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
1. Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton is easily the most obvious Pro Bowl candidate in Cincinnati. No one envisioned him to be a potential MVP candidate at this point of the season.
Dalton has emerged from mediocrity, becoming a top-10 quarterback and playing at a MVP level through Cincinnati’s first six games.
Oct 11, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) spikes the ball against the Seattle Seahawks in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati defeated Seattle 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Dalton’s 1,761 passing yards are second in the NFL only to Philip Rivers‘ 2,116. Dalton’s 67.4 percent completion rate ranks seventh among quarterbacks who have attempted 100 passes, and his 9.12 yards-per-attempt ranks first among qualified quarterbacks. (Ben Roethlisberger averages 10.25 yards-per-attempt, but he has only attempted 89 passes on the season, compared to Dalton’s 193).
Only Landry Jones has thrown a longer pass than Dalton’s 80-yard bomb in Baltimore, and only Tom Brady has thrown fewer interceptions than Dalton’s two (among quarterbacks who have attempted at least 100 passes). Andy Dalton’s passer rating sits at 116.1 through six weeks, which is second to only Tom Brady‘s (118.4).
Finally, the Red Rifle’s total QBR–at 84.2–is the best among all quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers is the only quarterback in the NFL who has a total even close to Dalton’s; his total QBR is at 80.8. All other NFL quarterbacks can’t even boast a total QBR of 80.0, Tom Brady included.
Dalton’s arm strength has vastly improved from 2014, his decision-making is precise and accurate, and he has limited almost all mistakes. Andy Dalton isn’t only a Pro Bowl candidate; he could be an MVP candidate if he keeps playing the way he’s playing.
Next: Giovani Bernard