After Dalton's not-so-stellar third season with the Cincinnati Bengals, one can only wonder, could the previous quarterback Carson Palmer have done a better job with the talent Dalton currently has around him?
It has been eight years since Carson Palmer's successful third-year season in the NFL in 2005, when Palmer threw for 32 touchdowns, and only 12 interceptions, with a completion percentage of 67.8. This is when the Cincinnati Bengals had a strong receiving corps with the likes of Chad Ochocinco(Johnson), T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and a strong running game with Rudi Johnson in the backfield.
In addition, the Cincinnati Bengals did not have a stellar defense; with an overall defense that was ranked No. 28 in 2005.
Andy Dalton is now in his third season in the NFL, and hasn't looked like a franchise quarterback this season; Dalton hasn't shown his team that they can depend on him. Through 11 games this season, Dalton has accumulated 18 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, with a completion percentage of 61.5, and this is with a receiver such as A.J. Green(the modern-day Chad Johnson for the Bengals, arguably better), and other young receivers such as Mohamed Sanu, and Marvin Jones, not to mention his tight ends, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert.
Dalton's defense is also ranked No. 6 in the NFL, the same defense that saved the Bengals from losses in Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers, and Week 11 against the Cleveland Browns.
One cannot compare Dalton's second starting season to Palmer's(sat out rookie season). You cannot compare 37 touchdowns and 12 interceptions to 27 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, let's not go there.
Let us instead compare Dalton's 2012 season to Palmer's 2012 season, the same year Palmer played for the Oakland Raiders, would one need to mention the lack of supporting cast around him?
Carson Palmer: 22 TDS, 14 INT, 4,018 YDS, 61.1%, 85.3 QB Rating
Andy Dalton: 27 TDS, 16 INT, 3,669 YDS, 62.3%, 87.4 QB Rating
The stats aren't too different from each other, and Dalton had the significantly better team(and still does), talent on offense, and a better defense; one could only imagine what Palmer would be able to do with a team of Dalton's caliber.
Palmer's worst season with the Bengals(other than starting his first season) was arguably in 2010, when he threw for 26 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions, with a completion percentage of 61.8, and a receiving corps with the likes of a washed-up Chad Johnson, and Jerome Simpson, and Cedric Benson at running back who averaged just 3.5 yards per carry.
Palmer's current season:
Now with the Arizona Cardinals, Palmer is putting together one of his worst statistical seasons since his second year in the NFL, so far this season he has accumulated 16 touchdowns, but with 15 interceptions to go along with those touchdowns. To be fair, this is his first season in the NFC, in which he has had to face defenses like the Carolina Panthers, the New Orleans Saints, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Houston Texans, all in the top six for passing defense, which accounts for 10 of his interceptions.
Andy Dalton's current season:
This is Dalton's third year with the Bengals and he hasn't shown very much improvement, three teams were able to hold Dalton without a touchdown, those three being the Cleveland Browns, the New England Patriots, and the Miami Dolphins. In addition to being held without a touchdown, those three teams account for five of Dalton's interceptions(three against the Miami Dolphins).
In the last four games, only Andy Dalton and Matt Ryan lead the NFL in interceptions(9), with Dalton throwing 10 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions in his last four outings.
While Palmer isn't a quarterback who can lead your team to a winning season with average players, like Tom Brady. But one thing Palmer has shown throughout his career, that if he is surrounded with talent, he will prosper and utilize the talent around him -- Dalton has yet to prove the same.