Bengals Offense On Historic Pace

Andy Dalton: record pace.
Andy Dalton: record pace.

After the first quarter of the season the Bengals' offense is on a torrid pace for their most points in history with 504 and quarterback Andy Dalton is right with them on a projection of a franchise-record 44 touchdown passes and 4,788 passing yards.

Dalton continues to blaze a trail through the heart of the naysayers in leading the Bengals to a 3-1 record and on Sunday he did it with the 22nd game-winning drive of his career. According to Elias that's the second best in the NFL since Dalton arrived in 2011, tied with Matt Ryan, eight behind Matthew Stafford and one ahead of Eli Manning.

The Bengals have rolled up 126 points in the first four games, only three behind the 1985 Bengals and five ahead of the 4-0 Bengals of 2015. Their 1,506 yards trail the pace-setting 2015 Bengals (1,688), but A.J. Green (1,118) and Tyler Boyd (1,396) on pace to become their first pair of 1,000-yard receivers since Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh in 2006 and 2007.

The connective tissue between the '15 and '18 teams, tight end Tyler Eifert, was ripped out Sunday when he suffered a season-ending broken ankle. That season Eifert went to the Pro Bowl with 13 TDs on 52 catches for 615 yards and while he was nowhere near his TD pace when he went down (he had just scored his first TD of the season earlier Sunday), he was ahead on catches (60) and yards (716).

While the Bengals try to fill that gap with Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah, they're also trying to find answers and hope they found one of them Monday when WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict returned from NFL suspension. The defense isn't on a good pace but it's not quite as historic.

Six Bengals teams allowed more than the Bengals' 113 points in the opening quarter of the season and if they keeping going those 452 total points would be tied with the 1998 team for third most allowed behind the 1999 team's 460 and the 456 of 2002. None of those teams won more than four games, but this team already has won three.  But the 1,677 yards they've allowed in the first four games is second only to that '85 team that started 1-3.