April 21, 2014

Looking Glass Game: Andy Dalton

With the news coming from PBS slowing down until the start of training camp, I thought it might be fun to playing an expectation game involving the young marquee players on the roster. The game is simple. Get out your looking glass and tell us how you think the current player will stack up against the best in the team’s history once his career is done. Will he be the best we have ever seen in a Bengals uniform at his position? Will he even crack the top 5?

In an attempt to help focus the looking glass a bit, I have listed the stats of the current guy and for the top 5 guys in franchise history at that position, both for their entire career and for when they were at the same point in their career. In the case of Andy Dalton, since starting as a rookie is so unusual, I used the first year as a full-time starter for the other five QBs.

Andy Dalton Rookie 16 9-7-0 300 516 58.1% 3398 20 13 212.4 80.4
Ken Anderson 1st Year 13 7-6-0 171 301 56.8% 1918 7 7 147.5 74.0
Career 172 91-81-0 2654 4475 59.3% 32,838 197 160 171.0 81.9
Boomer Esiason 1st Year 14 7-7-0 251 431 58.2% 3443 27 12 229.5 93.2
Career 173 80-93-0 2969 5205 57.0% 37,920 247 184 202.8 81.1
Carson Palmer Rookie 13 6-7-0 263 432 60.9% 2897 18 18 222.8 77.3
Career 106 50-56-0 2223 3545 62.7% 25,447 167 116 237.8 86.3
Jon Kitna 1st Year 15 8-7-0 270 495 54.5% 3,346 23 16 223.1 77.7
Career 124 50-74-0 2677 4442 60.3% 29,745 169 165 211.0 77.4
Jeff Blake 1st Year 16 7-9-0 326 567 57.5% 3822 28 17 238.9 82.1
Career 100 39-61-0 1827 3241 56.4% 21,711 134 99 180.9 78.0


#1: Ken Anderson. I took Kenny’s first year stats from 1972. When looking back to the 70′s and before, it always bears pointing out that the NFL was much more run-oriented back then. Comparing such different eras is difficult, but one simple thing will easily put Dalton above Anderson this list: a SuperBowl win.

#2: Boomer Esiason. I used Boomer’s stats from 1985. Maybe it’s just me, but I see similarities between Dalton and Esiason, and I think those similarities will continue to grow as Dalton becomes more comfortable and confident at his position, demanding and inspiring excellence from the players around him.

#3: Carson Palmer. By coming here, Carson revived a fan base that had been beaten nearly lifeless under Mike Brown’s hapless leadership. But his legacy in Cincinnati is still being written because by leaving, he gave us Dre Kirkpatrick and a player to be chosen in April 2013. If Palmer lasts as long as the other guys on this list, he will undoubtedly have the best stats of them all. But in spite of the numbers, will he ever find postseason success?

#4: Jon Kitna. I used Kitna’s numbers from 1999, although it was his third year in the league. Kitna was never an elite QB by any means, leaving fans jealous of the gunslingers of the league. But it is easy to forget that he really was pretty good, carving out a nice career over 15 seasons in the league.

#5: Jeff Blake. I used Blake’s numbers from 1995, also his third year in the league. Blake had good years in 1995 and 1996, but his production began to slide in 1997 and never recovered.

Now it is your turn. Vote, and leave a comment on why you voted the way you did.


  1. John says:

    The sad part is, KA threw about 7 less passes a game than Palmer, over his career it would have meant about 8K more yards and about 50 or so more TD’s. One of my most prized possessions is his autograph, which I got in 1981 training camp at Wilmington College.


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