Updated: 5:45 p.m.
With the bye week upon us, now is as good as time as any to check out some numbers.
ProFootballTalk.com suggested earlier Monday that Andy Dalton's numbers have not only passed Cam Newton's numbers to lead all rookie quarterbacks, but are comparable to those of Carson Palmer in 2010 and Rams quarterback Sam Bradford's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year season last year.
We looked at their first six games of each, as well as the first six NFL starts of Palmer, Detroit's Matthew Stafford, and Cleveland's Colt McCoy, and PFT was right. Dalton is the only one with a winning record at 4-2 and except for the eight-year veteran Palmer's 86.1, Dalton has the best passer rating at 84.4 on the list.
On Sunday, Dalton's third triple-digit passer rating game of the season lifted him past Newton in rating (by six points) and tied him with seven touchdown passes. Newton is averaging one more yard per throw, but has thrown four more interceptions than Dalton with nine.
In head-to-to-head stats with the last three quarterbacks taken No. 1 in the draft – Newton, Bradford and Stafford – Dalton clearly has had the best start. He's got the most wins, thrown the fewest interceptions and has the highest completion percentage.
McCoy has Dalton beat with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions in his first six starts (two were losses to the Bengals). But Dalton has the edge in wins, yards per attempt (1.5 more), and completion percentage to start what is destined to be a career-long comparison fueled by their Texas roots and division rivalry.
In the comparison with Palmer's first six NFL starts, Dalton figured better in every category.
QB W-L C-A Pct. Y Y/A TD INT Rating
Dalton 4-2 118-189 62.4 1,311 6.9 7 5 84.4
'10 Palmer 2-4 151-244 61.9 1,699 7.0 10 6 86.1
'04 Palmer 2-4 116-211 55.0 1,221 5.8 5 9 62.1
Newton 1-5 134-229 58.5 1,847 8.1 7 9 78.3
Bradford 3-3 133-234 56.8 1,357 5.8 7 8 69.3
Stafford 1-5 115-214 53.7 1,264 5.9 5 12 55.9
McCoy 2-4 140-257 54.4 1,412 5.5 10 4 76.9
MARV ON TRADE: With the Carson Palmer-to-Oakland trade rumors at full boil in the wake of the Yahoo.com report saying the Raiders are pursuing him now that Jason Campbell is on the shelf, there are less than 24 hours to do what would be a complicated deal.
Because of the Raiders salary cap situation, Palmer would probably have to have his contact redone as well as the sides agreeing on compensation.
And head coach Marvin Lewis, appearing on the NFL Network Monday afternoon, didn't sound like anything had changed since Palmer dropped the Mobile Manifesto on Bengals president Mike Brown back in January.
"I can't speak for the Raiders and everything but I think our organization is very firm in the statement that Carson is, as everybody knows here, retired," Lewis said. "We have moved on and that's enough to be said because we don't need to make any more headlines for any reason other than what we do on Sundays. That's the only thing that counts."
» After completing his 35-yard dash for the clinching touchdown Sunday, Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap made a dedication to the late mother of his best friend growing up in North Charleston, S.C.
"B.J. Sanders. We did everything together growing up and his mother just passed of breast cancer," Dunlap said. "He just joined the military and I wanted to make the dedication."
» The hope that middle linebacker Rey Maualuga could be back for the Oct. 30 game in Seattle after the bye seemed to dim Monday and shed some doubt on how long he'll be out when he showed up in the locker room on crutches with his ankle in a cast.
Lewis said last week the ankle wasn't broken "medically," indicating it's a severe sprain. Historically that could take anywhere between two to six weeks, but it looks like it's not a tweak.
» The Steelers have an eight-yard spread on the Bengals in the NFL defensive rankings. Pittsburgh is giving up an average of 270.5 per game to the Bengals' 278.5.
» A.J. Green leads all NFL rookies with 29 catches, 453 yards, and four touchdowns.
» Lewis didn't have much to say about Sunday's blowup between Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh and Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. Except that he's been on the basketball floor with both during that 1998 season all three were in Baltimore with Harbaugh playing quarterback and Lewis and Schwartz coaching.
"Both are competitive guys," Lewis said. "I think both guys wished things would have been different. I don't need to editorialize on what already occurred.
» During his Monday news conference when he was asked about getting the fans back into the stadium, Lewis said, "He did a good job driving (the fans) away and he was very wrong." Lewis didn't name "He," but later said, "What will bring the fans back is winning. I shouldn't have been thinking out loud like that."