Andy Dalton and AJ Green are among the most talked-about members of this year’s Cincinnati Bengals. Each is entering his seventh season in the pros. Both already rank among the most productive Bengals in history at their respective positions.
So where will they be when their done? Hope we don’t shock the heck out of you, but it should be at the top. What should shock you, though, is how much faster they’ll achieve some records than the other guys did.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton
Dalton ranks fourth in Cincinnati Bengals’ history in yards, completions, attempts, and touchdowns. In each category, the guys above him are Ken Anderson, Boomer Esiason and Carson Palmer (they are in that order, too, except for completions, where Palmer leads Esiason by a mere nine completions). That means this is a good apples-to-apples comparison of where Dalton is relative to the Big Three.
Anderson and Boomer played 15 and 13 years in the NFL, respectively. Palmer was only here for six seasons. Dalton has also played six, and he’s hot on everyone’s cleats. The short tenure is to Dalton’s advantage. He has several years to go in a pass-happy NFL era; an opportunity that Anderson and Boomer did not enjoy.
Dalton needs only 105 completions to jump to second place in that category, and only 481 yards and 13 TDs to get to third place on those two lists. Both should happen in the first half of this season. From there, the sky – and Ken Anderson – are the limits. Put another way, by 2018, this Dalton will own more passing records than Patrick Swayze’s Dalton owned all those mullet drunks in Road House.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver AJ Green
Of the two of them, Green is higher up on the charts than Dalton. Most of that is because of his skill, physical tools, and work ethic. The other part is being the No. 1 receiver on a team that hasn’t otherwise seen a standout WR since Chad Johnson/Ochocinco/Johnson/WTF-his-name-is. Green has thrived in the role, amassing 7,135 yards in six years to rank 2nd all-time. It took J/O/J/WTF a decade to pile up 10,783 yards. So don’t be surprised if Green, who is averaging 1,189 yards per season, moves into first place sometime during 2020 – less than 10 years into the league (with a few more to go after that).
Green currently ranks fourth in team history in receptions (481) and touchdowns (49). But he’s ahead of the curve, as it took Carl Pickens (530) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (507) seven years to accumulate their reception totals. Even with a subpar 60-catch season, Green will take over the No. 2 spot this year – which means he’ll get there sooner than that if he puts up his typical numbers.
Green best scoring years were in 2012 and 2013 when he hauled in 11 TD catches each. It might be asking a little much for him to record 18 scoring receptions this season. But if he pulls it off, he’ll snatch the all-time team record from Ochocinco in three fewer years … which includes his injury-shortened 2016 campaign.
So sit back and get excited, Cincinnati Bengals’ fans. You’re about to witness history.