Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has been living up to his nickname of the Red Rifle so far this season with an impressive start.
Over the course of the first four games, the 27-year-old has thrown for 1,187 yards, completing 78 of his 116 attempts, scoring nine touchdowns, averaging 10.2 yards per play. He has also only been intercepted once.
While those numbers might change this weekend when the Bengals face the Seattle Seahawks, who have one of the toughest defenses in the league, Dalton could be on the right trail for a record-setting year.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
More so, not only could it be the year that he finally get a playoff win, but also the year which the quarterback is enrolled in the prestigious 5,000 passing yards in a season club, joining the likes of Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady, Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees.
The reason being for this has to be solely down to the fact all the pieces are finally there on the offense for him to work with.
The offensive line at the Bengals is finally working well. They've opened up great lanes for the running game and have only allowed Dalton to be sacked two times over four games so far this season, an incredible statistic.
He's had two games this season to date where he has had a completion percentage of over 70. How has that been able to happen? That's down to great protection and the receiving corps. They've been fully fit, alert, attentive of their surroundings, and because of this, the Red Rifle has been able to spread the ball around with ease and confidence in the passing game.
A.J. Green is finally starting to shine like the wide receiver he was anticipated to, with 417 yards and three touchdowns from 24 receptions so far this year. Tight end Tyler Eifert has been the get-out-of-jail-free card Dalton has needed for some time. He's had 16 receptions for 222 yards and three touchdowns over four games.
To keep the opposing defenses from going one way, the running game has allowed the passing game to open up more in turn. Their double-headed running attack of Giovani Bernand and Jeremy Hill has rushed for 460 yards in total, more than any other duo back in the league.
As long as all the offensive pieces can stay in form and healthy, it's time to start believing the hype surrounding Andy Dalton.