I know what you’re thinking. In 2005, Carson Palmer was the closest thing to an elite quarterback for the Bengals. There is no way Andy is on his level right? If you’re blindly believing this to be factual, then your perception of both quarterbacks may be about to change after this article. This article will point out facts that will silence even some of Dalton’s biggest critics and Carson Palmer fanatics.
NUMBERS DON’T LIE
To quote the famous rapper and business mogul Jay- Z, “Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t.” In order to effectively compare both Carson and Andy, I decided to analyze the all-time leaders in passing yards for the Bengals and uncovered some interesting findings. Ken Anderson who also wore no. 14, leads the list with 32,838 passing yards, 197 touchdowns, and 160 interceptions. Boomer Esiason is ranked second, Carson Palmer is ranked third, and Andy currently ranks fourth.
Through seven seasons and 97 games in Cincinnati, Palmer threw for 22,694 yards, 154 touchdowns, and 100 interceptions. In only six seasons, Dalton has recorded 22,214 passing yards, 142 touchdowns, and only 81 interceptions in 93 games. Andy only needs 481 more yards next season to pass Carson on the all-time list which won’t be hard to do with A.J. Green around.
Andy also has thrown 19 fewer interceptions than Carson did during his time in the Queen City. Dalton also has the superior quarterback rating with a score of 89.1. Andy not only beat out Carson (86.9), but also Ken Anderson (81.9), and Boomer Esiason (83.1) as well. Dalton also has the best statistical career of any Bengals quarterback through their first six seasons. If Dalton keeps it up, he could easily end up being the all-time career passing yards leader in Bengals’ history in a few seasons.
BENGALS’ SUCCESS UNDER EACH QB
I decided to examine the success the Bengals had under Palmer and Dalton and found even more interesting data. During Palmer’s tenure, the Bengals went 52-59-1 and the team averaged 339 points forced per season. Under Dalton thus far, the Bengals have gone 58-36-2 and averaged 379 points forced per season.
But what about 2005?
Most believe that the 2005 Palmer-led offense (421 PF) was one of the best in history, which is definitely true. One thing most fans may not notice is, they were outscored by the Dalton-led 2013 Bengals by 9 points (430 PF). That team scored 40+ points four times during the 2013 season, while the 2005 crew only scored 40+ points twice during the 2005 season. Dalton also was on pace to outscore the 2005 team in points forced in 2015 (419) before he was injured. These findings seem to prove that the Bengals have been more successful at scoring under Dalton than they were under Palmer.
When examing weapons between the two quarterbacks, you can make the argument that Carson had better weapons. Carson easily had the better receivers with two top three all-time Bengals’ receiving leaders in Chad Johnson (1st) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (3rd). He also played with an all-time Bengals’ rusher in running back Rudi Johnson (3rd). Not to mention a supporting cast that featured players like Chris Henry, Jordan Shipley, Jermaine Gresham, and Terrell Owens. Dalton has had his share of weapons as well with A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Tyler Eifert, Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. Palmer also had the better offensive line between the two with Willie Anderson, Levi Jones, Rich Braham and Bobbie Williams. Dalton has had some great linemen as well with Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler, but collectively there weren’t as good as Palmer’s unit.
After researching and analyzing these two quarterbacks, Andy Dalton should be considered the better of the two in terms of their careers with the Bengals. I’ve also realized that Dalton could easily end up being one of the best quarterbacks in Bengals history within the next couple of seasons. Palmer was definitely a good quarterback for the Bengals, but the Bengals seemed to have upgraded with Dalton overall. Although Dalton may not be the second coming of Joe Montana, he clearly has been a good quarterback for the Bengals thus far and will only improve going forward.