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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Dalton considered breakout QB candidate

By Jamison Hensley

The Bengals' Andy Dalton is considered a breakout quarterback candidate in 2012, according to ESPN Insider Peter Keating.

It's hard to argue this point after watching Dalton become the best rookie quarterback in the AFC this season (sorry, T.J. Yates). A second-round pick in 2011, Dalton became the only rookie in NFL history to throw for 20 or more touchdowns passes while winning eight or more games as a starting quarterback.

"Check out this perfect storm: Dalton was the best prospect coming out of college in 2011, according to the Lewin Career Forecast," Keating wrote.  "He has outstanding, still rapidly developing targets in A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham. He led his team to the playoffs. And the Bengals are likely to get even better very soon, thanks to the draft picks they acquired in the Carson Palmer trade."

There is always a chance of having a setback whether it's an injury or defenses catching up to him. And Dalton has the challenge of facing the two best defenses of the past decade in the Steelers and the Ravens. That means a total of four games each season that he has to elude James Harrison and throw away from Ed Reed.