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Morning Bites (12/9): Bengals beat Colts edition

Taking a look at the reactions, recaps and analysis of Cincinnati's 42-28 win over the Colts.

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Doc: Bernard a patient, lethal back
Some running backs are easy to figure. Bengals running back Giovani Bernard is a gloved hand, waiting for a magic trick. If the Bengals manage to make January productive, it will have to be with major involvement from Bernard, who turned all of 22 two weeks ago.

With December chill comes October Andy
At 25 years of age, Andy Dalton might be young, but he is far from naive. The Cincinnati Bengals' third-year quarterback has heard the talk that has swirled around him his entire career. He's quite familiar with the love-hate relationship fans and media alike have for his constantly shifting play.

Bengals top Colts, move to 9-4
Andy Dalton threw touchdown passes to three different receivers and ran for a touchdown, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored twice in the Bengals' 42-28 win against the Colts.

Crucial TD overturn goes Bengals' way
When Marvin Lewis decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line in the second quarter, he hoped to extend a 7-0 lead before halftime. BenJarvus Green-Ellis took the handoff and appeared to be tripped up by Colts DT Josh Chapman. Green-Ellis stumbled, bounced shy of the goal line and rolled in without anyone else touching him.

Reedy's 5th quarter review
The Enquirer's Joe Reedy hands out his game ball, analyzes key numbers and looks at the quality — not quantity — of the wins the Bengals have enjoyed this season, including Sunday's victory against the Colts, in his fifth quarter review.

Doc: Bernard a patient, lethal back
Some running backs are easy to figure. Bengals running back Giovani Bernard is a gloved hand, waiting for a magic trick. If the Bengals manage to make January productive, it will have to be with major involvement from Bernard, who turned all of 22 two weeks ago.

Throwback to the future
Giovani Bernard was born during James Brooks' last season with the Bengals, so suffice to say no one on this team remembers how much the pint-sized, four-time Pro Bowler meant to that Super Bowl offense. And Bernard was still in high school in Florida when the Ravens drafted Ray Rice out of Rutgers in 2008, so it figures he didn't grow up emulating Baltimore's matchup nightmare.

Offense answers the call
Cincinnati's dominance at Paul Brown Stadium and in the AFC North continued for another intriguing week when its offense weapons jumped off the paper like they were supposed to.

With an eye on competition, Bengals do their job in win over Colts
Mere minutes after jogging off Paul Brown Stadium's frigid field and back into the warm comforts of their locker room late Sunday afternoon, several Cincinnati Bengals crammed into a small space near an equipment room. Huddled close together in a corner, they watched the other early games, specifically those featuring a pair of division rivals and their unsuccessful attempts at holding on to late leads.

Rapid Reaction: Cincinnati Bengals
A few thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 42-28 victory against the Indianapolis Colts.

Colts-Bengals Postgame Quotes
Marvin Lewis: "I’m pleased with our performance today. I thought we played well on offense. We were able to run the football, threw it efficiently and we were able to protect the quarterback."

Dalton's 4 TDs lead Bengals over Colts 42-28
Andy Dalton regained his passing touch on a wintery afternoon, keeping the Cincinnati Bengals firmly in control of the AFC North. Dalton threw for three touchdowns and ran for another on Sunday, giving his best performance since October, and the Cincinnati Bengals remained perfect at home with a 42-28 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Quick hits: Colts kick on call; Newman's knee a concern; Gio logic; Take a bow A.C.
The turning point of Sunday's 42-21 win for the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium was hotly disputed by the Colts.

Lewis shows faith, develops Bengals' attitude
Domata Peko was watching a little TV Saturday with his wife and kids when he heard ESPN NFL commentator and former New England linebacker Tedy Bruschi say something that caught all of their attentions. "He was saying we weren’t even going to win the division," said Peko, the Bengals’ defensive tackle. "Me, my wife and my kids were watching. We were like ‘Change the channel!’… I have nothing but respect for Bruschi but he needs to start watching our games."

Jeff Triplette makes another weird call, and Indianapolis Colts are victims
There’s no question that the NFL has had an officiating problem all season. More than ever, crews are making strange calls, and more than ever, VP of Officiating Dean Blandino has to go on the NFL Network and explain how yet another crew blew another call. Many believe that the ever-increasing complexity of the league’s rule book is the culprit, but there are also times when a ref just loses his bearings and completely blows a call despite having all the time and technology anyone could ask for at his disposal.

Matt Prater; Ravens-Vikings; Jeff Triplette's blown call; more Week 14
7. Cincinnati (9-4). Tough call, where to put the Bengals right now. This is probably the best Cincinnati team since the Boomer Esiason days. Andy Dalton, with three games to go, is 25-16 in the touchdown-to-interception ratio; last year he was 27-16 for the season. The difference? He should throw for 4,000 yards this year for the first time, thanks to Marvin Jones giving him a legitimate second option at receiver.

NFL Week 14 Studs and Duds
Sunday brought us another series of baffling officiating decisions, but for the most part I thought we were making progress. In most cases, the controversies originated from judgment calls and not from the kind of administrative and game-flow mistakes that have plagued the NFL this season. But Triplette's reversal and subsequent awarding of a touchdown to the Cincinnati Bengals was so egregious that it should fall in the same black-and-white category as his failure to keep the downs straight in last week's game at FedEx Field.

2013 NFL Grades, Week 14: Snow showcases Super Bowl potential
The Good Andy Dalton showed up Sunday and you could tell: the Bengals rolled the Colts up, and the quarterback play helped a ton. The defense dominated Andrew Luck and crew in the first half, too.

NFL Sunday’s 10 most mind-blowing performances
It wasn’t a great day for several NFL officials. Referee Jeff Triplette, who came under fire for a botched first down sequence in Week 13’s primetime matchup between the Redskins and Giants, inexplicably reversed a call in the Colts-Bengals game that gave Cincinnati’s Benjarvus Green-Ellis a touchdown run despite him being ruled down on the field (and the replay appearing to show that as the correct call).

5 up, 5 down for Sunday
Cincinnati running back Giovani Bernard – The hyper-quick rookie posted season highs in rushing (99 yards) and receiving (49 yards) as the Bengals posted an important victory over Indianapolis. The win gave Cincy the edge for the No. 3 seed in the AFC. Bernard’s effort helped the Bengals win the rushing battle 155 to 63 over the Colts and helped account for a time-of-possession advantage of nearly 15 minutes.

NFL Week 14 Winners and Losers: Patriots gifted a win on a horrible penalty call
For a moment, the Bengals looked like they were going to slide into the No. 2 seed in the current AFC playoff picture. They own the tiebreaker against the Patriots, and if New England lost to Cleveland on Sunday, they were going to be tied at 9-4. Alas, the aforementioned robbery of the Browns happened, the Patriots pulled off a miracle comeback and the Bengals are still a game back.

John Clayton's Last Call, Week 14
Cincinnati Bengals officials paid close attention to the New England-Cleveland outcome because they have their eyes on the AFC's No. 2 seed. Somehow, the Patriots pulled out a victory in the final minutes after the Bengals dominated the Indianapolis Colts 42-28. For the moment, the Bengals (9-4) have the one-game edge and the tiebreaker over Indy for the No. 3 seed, but the gap seemed so much larger on the field.

Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers survive; more Week 14 Snaps
Musings, observations and the occasional insight from an impossibly snowy, memorable and frenetically-paced Sunday in the NFL, otherwise known as Week 14.