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Bengals factoid: Dalton in division games

7/8/2014

As we've mentioned often before, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has struggled more than he's succeed in big-game scenarios over the years.

His 0-3 record and ratio of six interceptions to one touchdown in playoff games are prime examples of that. But nationally televised games in prime time also haven't all gone well for him. And neither have games he's played against AFC North competition. Among the four qualifying quarterbacks, he ranks third in winning percentage in division games from the last three seasons. Only former Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden had a worse winning percentage and record against division foes.

Although Dalton's numbers against other AFC North teams are largely overshadowed by Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco, there is one key statistic in which he's ahead over the past three seasons. That statistic is where we turn our attention in this Tuesday factoid: 24.

That's the number of touchdown passes Dalton has thrown in division games since his career began in 2011, the most among AFC North quarterbacks in that time span. Flacco has thrown 22 touchdown passes and Roethlisberger has 20 in division games during that stretch. Roethlisberger also missed three games in those three seasons that likely diminished his touchdown numbers slightly.

Not only has Dalton led his fellow division quarterbacks in touchdown passes thrown in AFC North games these past three years, he also leads in overall touchdown passes. His 80 touchdowns in 48 games is higher than the 75 Roethlisberger had in just 44 games the past three years, and it's higher than the 61 Flacco had. Unlike Roethlisberger, Flacco hasn't missed a game the past three seasons.

So we know that Dalton has been getting to the end zone slightly more often than his peers these last few seasons. What else do we know?

  • Dalton has thrown for more yards than Flacco and Roethlisberger. In AFC North games, Dalton has passed for 4,006 yards in his career. Flacco had the next highest total in those three years, passing for 3,667 yards.

  • Dalton has thrown more interceptions than them. Dalton has 23 career interceptions against AFC North teams. Roethlisberger's 13 since 2011 are the next highest interception total among division quarterbacks.

  • That Dalton ranks third in wins. Dalton has only eight division wins in his career. He's 8-10. In that same time span, Roethlisberger has gone 10-5 and Flacco has gone 13-5.

  • Dalton has the lowest completion percentage in division games. Dalton's 56.8 completion percentage is even slightly lower than Weeden's 56.9. It should be noted that Weeden only competed in eight division games since 2011. Roethlisberger leads the way with a 62.7 completion percentage in division games the past three seasons. Flacco is just behind him at 60.6 percent.

  • Dalton and Flacco have been sacked the most. Paced primarily by last season when Flacco was sacked a career-high 48 times in 16 games, the Baltimore quarterback is tied with Dalton for the most times sacked in AFC North games the past three seasons. Both were sacked 39 times, while the bigger Roethlisberger was sacked 31 times.

What do those numbers tell us? Dalton has been good at ending drives in division games so far -- either he's been ending them with touchdowns or ending them with interceptions. They also show us where Dalton and the Bengals need to catch up to their division foes.

But if Dalton continues throwing touchdown passes in those games at the rate he has been, that will help too.