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Bengals records mean little to Dalton, Green

12/26/2013

CINCINNATI -- Like most third-year NFL superstars, A.J. Green's plans for retirement are still several years away.

Why bring that up? Because according to the Cincinnati Bengals receiver, that is the only time he will ever sit down and contemplate the meaning of the records and awards that he surely will have achieved by that point in his life. Until that happens, his mind is a blank slate when it comes to such individual frivolities.

"Maybe when I'm done with this game [records] will be important, but right now, I'm wanting to continue to get better," Green said.

When you look at his statistics, one has to wonder: How much better can he really get?

But there is room for improvement. Division cornerbacks like Joe Haden and Ike Taylor have had their way with Green throughout his career. He also has struggled in recent weeks with staying true to routes and trying to cut them off for what he believes are better opportunities at making catches. The only problem is Green's quarterback doesn't always recognize where he's going when he tries to ad-lib like that.

Having said that, he sits remarkably close to setting a few records.

His quarterback, Andy Dalton, also has a chance to set his share of team marks in this weekend's regular-season finale. But much like Green, he doesn't really care much about seeing them come to fruition.

"Personally, it's cool to be close to those records, but wins are what ultimately matters," Dalton said.

Dalton could set team records in single-season passing yards and touchdowns. Green could do the same in single-season receiving yards and 100-yard receiving games.

Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden was glad neither player seemed too enthusiastic about their potential record-setting opportunities. As star players on a team that hasn't won a playoff game since they were still in diapers, they need to be first focused on getting the Bengals through a long postseason run, Gruden said.

"What's more important for them is to get the playoff stigma off of them because no matter what they do, until they win a playoff game, they can still be criticized," Gruden said. "So the only way to stop the criticism for good is to win playoff games and win Super Bowls."

The Bengals haven't won in the postseason since 1990, even though they have had chances four times since then. The top two Bengals picks in the 2011 draft, Dalton and Green were part of the last two postseason appearances, but like their predecessors, couldn't win a playoff game.

OK, so the playoffs are important, and a win this weekend could help the Bengals earn the ever important No. 2 seed (with a Patriots loss). But here's a rundown of what Dalton and Green could achieve later this week:

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Dalton's Record Watch

  • He needs 117 yards to set a single-season franchise record for passing yards. The Bengals' current single-season record for passing yards: 4,131 (Carson Palmer, 2007).

  • He needs two touchdowns to set a single-season franchise record for passing touchdowns. The Bengals' current single-season record for passing touchdowns: 32 (Carson Palmer, 2005).

Green's Record Watch

  • He needs 76 yards to set a single-season franchise record for receiving yards. The Bengals' current single-season franchise record for receiving yards: 1,440 (Chad Johnson, 2007).

  • He needs 19 catches to set a single-season franchise record for receptions. The Bengals' current single-season record for receptions: 112 (T.J. Houshmandzadeh, 2007).

  • He needs 100 yards to set a single-season franchise record for 100-yard receiving games. The Bengals' current single-season record for 100-yard receiving games: 5 (set eight times).

  • He needs 15 yards to move into second place on the NFL list of yards received through a player's first three seasons. Torry Holt's 3,786 yards (1999-2001) ranks second for yards received through an NFL player's first three seasons.