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Morning Bites (1/2): Bengals news and links

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

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Been there, done that
In their first heavy day of preparation for Sunday's wild card game, the Bengals looked a little looser than the past two years.

Bengals blackout possibility puzzling
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Bengals were still just under 10,000 ticket sales away from selling out Sunday's playoff game against the San Diego Chargers, despite an 11-5 record, a division title and a full house for eight regular season games.

Home playoff game may generate $14M
The Bengals' home playoff game Sunday could be a $14 million post-Christmas boon for the region, counting ticket prices, bar business, restaurant tabs, various taxes and incidental spending.

Bengals' Vontaze Burfict develops into one of NFL's best
After leading the league in tackles and making his first Pro Bowl, Vontaze Burfict will get a chance to show why he is one of the league’s top linebackers on Sunday when Cincinnati hosts San Diego in an AFC Wild Card game.

Mesko enters the fray
Zoltan Mesko is no newcomer to the playoffs as a fifth-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2010.

Bengals Blogs | Dalton’s Picks Haven’t Changed Simms’ Pick
Last week on Showtime’s "Inside the NFL," host James Brown asked the panel to pick a team – other than obvious favorites like Denver or Seattle – that could make a serious Super Bowl run. Last week on Showtime’s "Inside the NFL," host James Brown asked the panel to pick a team – other than obvious favorites like Denver or Seattle – that could make a serious Super Bowl run.

Marvin Lewis, Andy Dalton, Locker room transcripts: Chargers
Dalton: "This is a confident group, not only me, but this team, this offense and everything that we’re doing."

Bengals have plenty of playoff experience
The last two years the Bengals learned playoff lessons the hard way, however, this year they will line up Sunday as the team owning far more playoff experience than their opponent.

Bengals playoffs: Wednesday review
We’re three days from the Bengals-Chargers AFC wild-card game at Paul Brown Stadium. Here’s your guide with links to Wednesday’s top storylines from the Enquirer:

The Cincinnati Bengals' unsung heroes of 2013
While the Cincinnati Bengals' 2013 season is very much alive and well with an appearance in this weekend's opening round of the playoffs, the calendar year itself is now over.

Morning Stripes: Bengals and the 'B-word'
They're trying hard to avoid using the dreaded "B-word" around Paul Brown Stadium this week, but it is becoming evident that despite the Cincinnati Bengals' best efforts, it still might pop up before the week is over.

Vontaze Burfict of Cincinnati Bengals compared to Ray Lewis by coach Marvin Lewis
The first time Marvin Lewis watched Vontaze Burfict practice in a Cincinnati Bengals uniform, he saw within the linebacker flashes of a future Hall of Famer he once coached. "I told [owner] Mike Brown, 'I don't mean to overstate this, but he's special,'" Lewis said Wednesday, retelling a conversation he and Brown had in May 2012. "He reminds me of another guy I've coached."

Bengals' Mike Zimmer has defense all-in on film study
It takes a little bit more time, but Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer likes reviewing practice video this way: every player, every position, all in one room, answering his questions not only about their own assignments but everyone else's, too.

Chad Johnson: I’ll pick up rest of Bengals tickets | Bengals Blog
Bengals fans may remember in 2009 when Chad Johnson (then Ochocinco) came to the rescue of Bengals fans and bought the remaining allotment of tickets to avoid a regular-season blackout against the Houston Texans.

Freezer Bowlers to be honored; Sellout push at 8,000; Injury report; 10-yard punt like block
The Bengals are bringing back a group of players that played in the Freezer Bowl for recognition before Sunday's game.

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater will reportedly declare for the 2014 NFL draft
The Houston Texans hired Bill O’Brien as their next head coach on New Year’s Eve. Now, if they want him, the Texans can also have perhaps the best quarterback available in the 2014 draft class. As first reported by ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has decided to declare for the 2014 NFL draft.

Mother of Jovan Belcher sues Kansas City Chiefs for wrongful death
The mother of former Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the team Tuesday after exhuming his body so that his brain could be examined for evidence of a degenerative condition linked to repeated concussions.

Scouts take on Manziel: He's another Favre
However, the question of how good Manziel will be in the NFL lingers. One scout recently compared Manziel to retired quarterback Brett Favre, who was a second-round pick and went on to have an extraordinary career. "He’s Favre," the scout said. "On Sunday, he’s going to play his (butt) off. The rest of the week, he’s going to do what he wants to do."