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Andy Dalton is beating league's best defenses

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Posted at 2:19 PM, Oct 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-19 14:19:04-04

By any measurement, Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton is having a landmark season after his first six games.

Dalton’s 14 touchdown passes and 116.1 passer rating are both second-best among NFL quarterbacks. He’s thrown only two interceptions thus far, which also ranks as second-best among NFL starters.

Dalton’s 293.5 passing yards per game rank in the top five among NFL passers this season.

And this season, Dalton has become a long-ball threat. He’s completed a league-leading seven passes for 40 or more yards thus far.

No wonder the Bengals are a perfect 6-0 heading into the “bye” week of their schedule after Sunday’s 34-21 win over the Buffalo Bills.

But when you consider Dalton’s lofty stats, consider this: He’s done it while playing against five of the league’s top 10 defenses last season.

This year, against the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and Bills, Dalton has connected on 105 of 159 passes for 1,496 yards.

He’s thrown for 12 touchdowns and the two interceptions.

If it holds up, Dalton’s 66 percent completion rate will be the best of his five-year career against top-10 defenses.
Overall, he’s completed 581 of 929 passes for 6,903 yards, 49 touchdowns and 27 interceptions against teams that were ranked in the top 10 the previous year.

But Dalton still has challenges after the break week.

The Bengals have upcoming games against two other top 10 defenses from last year — the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos — and a rematch with the Ravens.

They also face their division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, and the Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans and St. Louis Rams.

Arizona, Houston and St. Louis all currently rank among the top 10 defenses this season.

Check Dalton's stats against other opponents and in various game situations with our interactive database that tracks every pass he’s thrown during his NFL career.

The database was compiled by WCPO using play-by-play narrative reports from each Bengals regular season and playoff game in which Dalton has played.