Bengals at Chiefs, 1 p.m. Sunday, CBS, 102.7, 104.7, 700
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after throwing a career-high four touchdown passes in the 31-13 win against the New York Giants on Sunday.
“It’s a great honor, but nothing that I did by myself,” said Dalton, who completed 21 of 30 passes for 199 yards and a career-high four touchdowns while not getting sacked once.
“To not get sacked against the Giants is huge, against that front four,” Dalton continued. “They’re some of the best in the league. The offensive line played great, four different guys catching touchdowns. Definitely not an award I got. Definitely a team award.”
In addition to not getting sacked, Dalton also went without an interception for the first time this season after setting a dubious franchise record for most consecutive games (eight) with a pick to start a season.
“It’s good not to have that streak anymore,” he said. “It’s something we needed to have happen, especially against a team like that.”
This is the third time this season a Bengals player has earned an AFC Player of the Week Award. Cornerback Adam Jones was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance that included an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown against Cleveland in Week 2. And defensive end Michael Johnson was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week with three sacks in the 38-31 win at Washington in Week 3.
“The thing that may almost be true is that in each of the victories this year, we’ve had a guy earn one of the honors,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said.
Only the Week 4 win at Jacksonville didn’t result in a Player of the Week Award.
For Dalton, the award was the first of his career.
“He deserves it,” offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said. “He’s a guy that busts his tail every week. You want him to get positive recognition and for us linemen that is the best thing when one of our players gets recognized for something.”
Dalton is on a record pace in terms of yards and touchdowns this season. Through nine games he has 2,329 yards, which projects to what would be a Bengals franchise record of 4,140. The current mark of 4,131 was set by Carson Palmer in 2007.
Dalton also is on pace to tie Palmer’s season record of 32 TD passes in 2005. Dalton’s season total of 18 is two shy of the number he threw last year as a rookie.
And his 203 completions — 22.6 per game — project to a total of 361. That would be third in club history, behind Palmer’s totals of 373 in 2007 and 362 in 2010.
In the two games since Lewis challenged Dalton through the media to become a better leader, the quarterback has gone 47 of 72 (65.3 percent) for 498 yards with five touchdowns and one interception.
“It’s the same old Andy, to me,” said rookie wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, who caught one of Dalton’s four TD passes Sunday for the first of his career.
“I know Andy. He takes charge,” Sanu continued. “He takes pride in what he does. If something doesn’t go right, he tries to correct it right away. Andy’s a great quarterback and throws the ball in all the right places and right spots. It’s up to us as receivers and tight ends or running backs to help him out and do our job and making those plays.”