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Morning Bites (12/6): News and links

Taking a look at the Bengals stories and links for this icy Friday morning.

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Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

Matchup of the Game: Colts try their Luck against the pass
In a remarkable 20-game stretch that began on Nov. 11, 2012, all sorts of the quarterback species have been unleashed against the Bengals and they have emerged from the brush with a 15-5 record.

Tight ends not measured just by receptions
Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and coach Marvin Lewis spoke glowingly all year about the blocking contribution of tight ends Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham. They've been a part of a running game that found a resurgence last week against San Diego.

Strong run game is clearly better for Dalton
Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden uttered those very words 67 days ago. At that time, his offense was in search of an identity. It still wasn't quite sure what it wanted to resemble, but he knew that it had to feature some form of balance. The Bengals needed to run the ball, and they needed to pass it, too. And they needed to do a good job of both.

Thursday update: Zeitler limited; Forecast delivers 'Bengal weather'
Right guard Kevin Zeitler not only showed up with helmet in hand, he also wore it at Thursday morning's practice in Paul Brown Stadium for the first time since he injured his foot.

Bengals' Crocker has gotten better with age
Life required change. Chris Crocker knew as much. Spending the early months of the 2013 season facing the reality of retired life free of training camp at his home in Atlanta, the 33-year-old assessed evolving and adapting to a post-football reality.

Bengals need more BenJarvus Green-Ellis 'The Closer'
He's BenJarvus Green-Ellis, the Cincinnati Bengals' veteran running back whose lengthy, official-sounding birth name was reason enough for football fans to create the first two sobriquets that he has been known by since he entered the league six years ago. But now, his play, it appears, is earning him the other.

Bengals celebrate life of Riley
Ken Riley is back in town this week to be honored at Sunday's game against the Colts as well as discuss his unique role in college football history.

Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Collection
The Cincinnati Bengals and the Unites States Marine Corps Reserves are teaming up again for the Annual Toys for Tots Collection this Sunday.

Each player on the Bengals' roster practices
And with the playoff chase heating up, now was a good time for health to return. After a string of injuries forced the Bengals to adjust their rotations for the past two months, the roster is starting to resemble the team they had before key losses began to mount.

NFL Week 14 picks: Indianapolis Colts-Cincinnati Bengals, more
Even though we get weekly reminders otherwise, we all to a certain extent like to pretend that we know what's going to happen next in the NFL. That's at least the conceit behind writing a picks column. But of course we often miss plenty about the big picture until it's finished and flashing before our eyes.

USA TODAY Sports' Week 14 NFL predictions
Seahawks and Saints are back on center stage, but in different cities, anchoring two more huge NFC matchups.