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Morning Bites (10/23): Bengals and NFL News and Links

Taking a look at the stories in Cincinnati and the NFL around the internet.

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Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

TMQB: Call it the Peyton Paradox: Why do Peyton Manning's teams struggle in big games?
The Colts knocked Denver from the ranks of the undefeated on Sunday in as exciting a contest as football produces. At 6-1 and scoring 43 points a game, the Broncos will be fine. But the night produced a reminder about Peyton Manning: Though one of the best ever at his position, he often comes up short in big games.

Brandon Jacobs received death threat on Twitter
Brandon Jacobs revealed Tuesday that a user on Twitter had sent him a death threat ordering him to play for the New York Giants on Monday night. The NFL is investigating the matter.

Bengals-Jets: First look
After disposing of New England in overtime last week, the Jets have a new goal as they approach Sunday’s game against the Bengals – start stringing some wins together.

NFL - For Cincinnati Bengals to become legitimate postseason threat, Andy Dalton must improve - ESPN
Rivers McCown examines the Cincinnati Bengals and if they can be an elite team with Andy Dalton at QB.

NFL Division Power Rankings: Except for Indy, AFC South is 0-for-October
The last time the Bengals started a season 5-2 was in 2011 when they made it to the playoffs and lost. The Bengals also started 5-2 in 2009, a season where they made it to the playoffs and lost. The Bengals also started 5-2 in 2005, another season where they made it to the playoffs and -- I think you get the point. But don't be sad Bengals fans, the team also started 5-2 in 1981, the season of the team's first Super Bowl appearance.

QB Watch: Bengals' Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton appears to be growing right before our eyes. Less than a month after having his skill challenged during an abysmal showing at Cleveland, the third-year starter has laughed in his critics' faces by posting back-to-back 300-yard passing games and putting the Bengals in position for consecutive game-winning field goals.

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant on Calvin Johnson: I can do whatever he can do
Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant doesn't see much difference between him and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. Bryant said that on the football field he can do whatever Johnson can do.

NFL - The most improved players from last season - ESPN
Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus examines the players whose grades have improved the most from last season.

NFL draft 2014 Big Board sees Marcus Mariota on rise - NFL - Chris Burke -
That the upcoming draft will be more QB-heavy is no great secret or revelation. But what of the teams that could use an upgrade at that position and end up picking, say, in the 5-10 range? Bridgewater and Mariota very well may be off the board by that point. Are either of those players worth breaking the bank for in an attempted trade-up, as Washington did for Robert Griffin III? Is there enough confidence in the QBs behind them -- Brett Hundley (if he comes out early), Johnny Manziel, Zach Mettenberger, Tajh Boyd, etc. -- to wait until later or to gamble in the top 10?

NFLPA suspends, fines agent in Dumervil fax flap
The NFL Players Association has suspended NFL agent Marty Magid for six months and fined Magid $25,000 for his role in the events that led to fax snafu between defensive end Elvis Dumervil and the Denver Broncos in March.

Jordan Reed breaks out, Eddie Lacy continues to shine in Week 7 rookie watch
Serious injuries dominated headlines in Week 7. As discussed last week, the carnage we've seen this season has opened the door for young players to step in and play all over the NFL -- one rookie linemen even shared his (NSFW) motto about such things.

Week 7 report card: Jets playing like throwbacks for Rex Ryan
A- Bengals: The new winning formula — 59½ minutes of QB Andy Dalton + a smattering of K Mike Nugent at the wire = victory.

Minnesota Vikings decision to start Josh Freeman proves a misstep
Josh Freeman's epic meltdown Monday night in the Meadowlands was just the latest, and perhaps most ghastly, miscalculation at quarterback this season. Freeman's play was almost mesmerizingly ugly in the 23-7 loss to the previously winless Giants, and most of the blame for his primetime implosion in MetLife Stadium seemed to stick to the desperate Vikings, who started the controversial ex-Bucs passer just 12 days after he was signed as a free agent.

History of rule that cost New England Patriots against New York Jets
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was not happy about the penalty that allowed the New York Jets to grab an extra first down and eventually re-try a winning field goal in overtime on Sunday, but the coach has nobody to blame but himself for Nick Folk's successful 42-yard try that ga...

Fantasy Recap: Week 7
Andy Dalton finished with top-tier QB numbers, which is bittersweet since he sits on many waiver wires around fantasyland even as we speak.