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Bengals Bites (10/30): Bengals links, news and midseason awards

Taking a look at the news and links around the web, including midseason awards and second half story lines.

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John Grieshop

The Kansas City Chiefs are the NFL's only undefeated team, but are they for real?
They've gone from worst to first. Kansas City, laughingstock of 2012, is the sole undefeated remaining in 2013. But are the Chiefs for real?

AFC midseason report: What's ahead for the teams?
What has gone well: Andy Dalton, with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions, is completing more than 65% of his passes, the best of his career, and a sign he's developing into the quarterback who can lead the Bengals on a postseason run. Cincinnati's defense is ranked in the top 10 of the NFL in most major categories, including points and yards allowed.

AFC North Midseason Awards: Bengals running away with division
The last time the Bengals started a season 6-2 was in Dalton's rookie year of 2011. With a rookie playing quarterback and low expectations that year, everyone seemed to be alright with just making the playoffs. Not this year though. This team is stacked, Dalton is on fire and if this team doesn't end the the team's 23-season playoff victory drought, everyone in Cincinnati should find a new team to cheer for. Also, with the Broncos and Chiefs set to beat each other up in the AFC West -- they play each other twice in the second half of the season -- a No. 1 seed and home field advantage in the playoffs isn't out of the question for this team.

Andy Dalton using Marvin Jones, others to help boost Bengals offense
Add this to the list of things I never thought I’d see in 2013: Andy Dalton throwing five touchdown passes against Rex Ryan’s defense, with none of those to all-world wide receiver A.J. Green. It’s one thing for the immensely talented Bengals to beat a rising team like the Jets.

2013 NFL Midseason Awards: Peyton Manning an MVP lock
The Bengals rookie Giovani Bernard narrowly beat out Eddie Lacy because he's an explosive, multi-dimensional option for Andy Dalton.

Bill Barnwell on Calvin Johnson and Week 8 - Grantland
The unlikely winner for biggest blowout of the season showed up this week, as the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Jets 49-9 at home on Sunday, becoming the first NFL team this season to win by as many as 40 points. The Bengals were admittedly favored in Vegas by six points heading into the tilt, and there are easy tidbits to point to that paint a bizarre, unsustainable picture of the victory, but they mask the bigger picture. This was a very good win from a very good football team. Both the performance and the Bengals themselves are likely underrated.

Beyond the Stripes: Chris Crocker Sports Beyond the Stripes with Paul Daugherty presented by:, with guest Cincinnati Bengals safety Chris Crocker from the Moerlein Lager House.

What has keyed the Bengals rise?
Andy Dalton struggled to throw it deep in the first four games ...The Bengals are holding steady at No. 7 in the Week 9 NFL Power Rankings

Bengals' versatility at LB will be put to test
Bengals linebacker coach Paul Guenther trains every one of his players to play each of the three linebacker positions. The style supplies versatility should replacements be necessary on the fly.

Update: More backer promotions as Schaffer returns; Dunlap forcing the issue
The Bengals worked on a grass practice field across the street from Paul Brown Stadium in helmets Tuesday morning in preparation for Thursday's game.

Scribe Session 10.29.13: First-Half Awards Edition
Bengals beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Joe Reedy take a break from the 96-hour bender between the Jets win and kickoff in Miami to discuss the Bengals 49-9 rout of New York.

2013 NFL final predicted standings: Saints reclaim NFC South
I had the Bengals with the same record as the Ravens back in August, but after watching the development of Andy Dalton and the aggressive defense, they look like a lock to win the division and finish with an 11-5 record.

NFL Week 9 Picks: Bengals over Dolphins, Packers over Bears
This game's being played on Halloween and the best thing about a game on Halloween is that you get to watch the game while wearing a costume. I'm going as Carrot Top this year and since one of Andy Dalton's 17 nicknames is 'Carrot Top Cannon,' I think that means I have to pick him. If I was going as someone who looked like Ryan Tannehill, I would pick the Dolphins. Actually, no I wouldn't because Tannehill's been sacked more than any other quarterback in the NFL this season and I have a feeling that number's only going to go up against the Bengals eighth ranked defense. Bengals 24-20 over the Dolphins.

Midseason awards and predictions: Strahan's sack record will be broken
While the AFC North isn't performing how Pat Kirwan expected, it's looking like his second-half predictions, namely the sack record falling, will shape up.

Jermichael Finley on the road back from his injury
The minutes Jermichael Finley spent on the Lambeau Field turf on Oct. 20, after a collision with Cleveland Browns safety Tashaun Gipson, were a suspended surreality for the Green Bay Packers tight end, his teammates and the NFL community.

T.O. suggests racism is reason for different reactions to Dez Bryant, Tom Brady sideline blowups
From Yahoo Sports: Terrell Owens has something to say about Dez Bryant and Tom Brady. Grab yer popcorn. Owens spoke with Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman on Monday and raised what certainly could be a hot topic of debate, as it relates to perception.