Morning Bites (12/4): Bengals news and links

Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

Taking a look at the news, links and stories around the internet concerning your Cincinnati Bengals.

TMQ's Authentic Games metric predicts the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl
In a measure of how power opponents fare against other quality teams, Denver and Seattle look like contenders.

Bengals eye run down the stretch
Cincinnati broke out its running game just in time last Sunday in San Diego's 75-degree greenhouse.

Reedy's first look: Bengals vs. Colts
The Enquirer's Joe Reedy takes a first look at the Bengals' matchup against the Iniannapolis Colts coming Sunday.

Notes: Roland move won't impact call on Whit; Animated Lewis hits TV; Bengals Play 60; PS move
The Bengals turned to a familiar face to add depth along the offensive line in the person of Dennis Roland.

The Walkthrough: Spotlight on Good Guys | Bengals Blog
One of the narratives I hate most about the world of sports journalism is the constant conversation about the negative. That stems from necessity, many times. We must report the news and often that revolves around players embroiled in controversy. That’s the deal.

The All-22: Teams are turning primary receivers into slot machines
Admit it -- if I say "slot receiver," you probably think of Wes Welker, and why wouldn't you? Welker has redefined the position as it's grown in importance throughout the NFL with his uncanny command of option routes and short-area concepts.

Peter King spends week embedded with NFL refs, Part 1
Note from The MMQB’s editor-in-chief, Peter King: In November The MMQB was granted unprecedented access to an NFL officiating crew during the week of the Nov. 17 Ravens-Bears game in Chicago.

NFL - Peyton Manning leads late-career stars (ESPN In$ider)
It's easy to forget that the aging Harrison spent the early part of his career on the sideline, and he takes exceptionally good care of himself. So, although his 2012 season was disappointing, there was always the possibility of Harrison finding a role that suited him. Consider that role found as a two-down linebacker in Cincinnati, where the team has reinvented him as a run-stuffing enforcer who might not be getting to the passer much but does remind us of a certain Bart Scott when it comes to blowing up blockers. He has the third-highest grade of all 4-3 outside linebackers against the run and makes life easier for Vontaze Burfict & Co. -- much as Scott used to for David Harris.

Prisco's Picks
This is a huge game in terms of playoff seeding; the winner will likely have the No. 3 seed in the AFC. The Colts won last week, but they aren't playing well. Cincinnati is playing good defense, which will be the difference in this one. Bengals get all over Andrew Luck. His line is bad. The Colts can't stop the run either.

NFL Division Power Rankings: NFC North keeps tumbling
3. AFC North: Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon made NFL history on Sunday by becoming the first player to have consecutive 200-yard receiving games in the regular season, but that was only about the fifth biggest thing to happen in the AFC North in Week 13. The other four involve Mike Tomlin. Did Tomlin try to trip Baltimore kick returner Jacoby Jones? Did he not try to trip him? Should a flag have been thrown? Should the Ravens get rid of their JumboTron because it's too distracting to coaches? Hopefully Tomlin outdoes himself in Week 14. Last week's ranking: 3. (8-4 vs. AFC East, 1-3 vs. AFC West, 1-2 vs. AFC South, 4-7 vs. NFC North)

NFL Mock Draft 2014: Adjusting for Marcus Mariota return to Oregon
25. Cincinnati Bengals: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson In paying Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins, the Bengals all but assured that DE Michael Johnson would leave via free agency this summer. And in drafting Beasley, they would uncover a cheaper and possibly as-productive replacement.

NFL - Playoff Odds - Broncos edge Pats for AFC's No. 1 seed, Steelers still in the hunt - ESPN
Current record: 8-4 | Weighted DVOA: 16.6 percent Projected wins: 10.9 Total playoff odds: 98.9 percent | Weekly change: +4.7 percent Blowing out Cleveland meant that the Bengals' Weighted DVOA increased, as did their total playoff odds. And with Indianapolis either eking out victories or suffering blowout losses to inferior opponents since Reggie Wayne got hurt, our projection model has made the Bengals a larger and larger favorite over the past few weeks with respect to their Week 14 matchup with the Colts. As it stands right now, Cincinnati is about a 3-to-1 favorite to win this week's game, and thereby sew up the No. 3 seed in the AFC.

NFL Week 13 featured Marc Trestman's bad overtime field-goal decision
Week after week in the NFL, the one thing you can count on in the NFL is that it will surprise you. Peter King and I already discussed the continuous curious officiating.

Gary Kubiak, Mike Munchak among those on hot seat entering December
By the time December and the final quarter of the NFL's regular season arrives, one of the league's annual exercises begins in earnest -- the coaching hot seat watch. In a bit of an oddity, for the second year in a row there have been no head coaches fired in mid- or late-season, at least so far. But that kind of stability will never last once we hit January, even though last year's flurry of eight coaching changes is not going to be duplicated this time around. A quarter of the league's coaches simply can't get canned every season. Even NFL owners are not that impatient.

Thank You for Not Coaching, Week 13
You demanded it! Thank You for Not Coaching is back in its usual Tuesday time slot to review the sprawling action of Week 13. Of course, while the NFL

An O-line remembered: 'The Great Wall of Dallas' among Cowboys' greats
Cowboys blockers paved way to three titles and Emmitt Smith's record but were no strangers to controversy.

5 former Chiefs sue team over head injuries
The lawsuit was filed in Jackson County Circuit Court on behalf of former players Leonard Griffin, Chris Martin, Joe Phillips, Alexander Louis Cooper and Kevin Porter, all of whom played on defense. It seeks more than $15,000 in actual and punitive damages. All five players have opted out of a multimillion-dollar settlement announced this summer that would compensate former players for their head injuries.

NFL VP of Officiating: 'We should've flagged Coach Tomlin'
NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino said that 'we should've flagged Coach Tomlin' for the sideline incident on Thanksgiving.

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