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Bengal Bytes (11/1): Out for history

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The Bengals' blueprint for building their team continues to receive praise. Third down struggles could cost the Steelers today. Jets sweep for bugs and have Patriots employees interrogated during game.

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Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals out to make history, not repeat it in Pittsburgh

History awaits the 6-0 Cincinnati Bengals today in Pittsburgh. The question is whether they will make it, or repeat it. A victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) not only would move the Bengals to 7-0 for their best start in franchise history, it would equal the team record for longest winning streak at any point in a season, tying the 1970 club that won its final seven for the franchise’s inaugural playoff berth.

How patience built Bengals into a winner

The Bengals arrive at Heinz Field on Sunday 6-0 and tracking a fifth consecutive playoff berth. Depth lives at every turn as multiple first-round picks sit in reserve roles awaiting an opportunity. Even with a significant number of free agents next season, the Bengals carry the least dead money in football.

Bengals Breakdown: Wk 8 Pittsburgh

Will the Bengals make start the season with a franchise best 7-0? Dan Hoard and Geoff Hobson discuss what it will take for the Bengals to leave Pittsburgh with a win.

Dalton by the numbers

The Pittsburgh blitz looms Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12), but for Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton this could be the first Thursday of OTAs. But it’s not. In a week of numbers, Thursday is his 28th birthday and he plans to go to dinner with wife Jordan. And, oh yeah, he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month on Thursday with a 111 passer rating. Plus, there is this matter of leading the 6-0 Bengals into Pittsburgh, the one team that has had one of his very good and, until now, very quiet numbers.

AFC North crossroads

Heading into Sunday's game at Heinz Field (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12), the balance of power in the AFC North rests with the 6-0 Bengals, thanks to quarterback Andy Dalton leading the NFL in passing and a remarkably healthy roster that has lost just two guys for two games. Meanwhile, the 4-3 Steelers are down four starters and wonder if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can deal them back into the race after missing the last month with a knee injury.

Cincinnati Bengals activate LB Vontaze Burfict

The Cincinnati Bengals activated Vontaze Burfict off their physically unable to perform list Saturday, giving the former Pro Bowl linebacker a chance of playing Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. To make room for Burfict, the Bengals released receiver Greg Little, who had not been active for any games this season.

On offense, Steelers and Bengals mirror each other well

The Cincinnati Bengals (6-0) are on the cusp of history as they visit the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) at 1 p.m. ET Sunday. Here are things to watch for during the game.

5 things to watch, consider for Steelers game and prediction

Here are five things to watch, consider and take note about for Sunday's Bengals game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which will be played at 1 p.m. in Pittsburgh's Heinz Field, and can be seen on Local 12, and my prediction at the bottom.

Behind Enemy Lines

Steelers could set several big-time milestones this Sunday vs. Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is just 31 yards away from becoming the 16th passer in NFL history to surpass the 40,000 passing yards mark.  He would be just the ninth to accomplish that feat with a single team.

Bengals vs. Steelers: What's the Game Plan for Pittsburgh?

It might not look like it on paper through seven weeks, but the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers are two evenly matched teams heading into Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET showdown at Heinz Field.

Steelers offensive playmakers back together again

Three hundred-seven days. That’s how long it has been since the Steelers have had the Killers Bs — their alliterative array of offensive playmakers — on the field together at the same time. The date was Dec. 28, 2014, and the Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the regular-season finale at Heinz Field to win the AFC North Division title. It was the fourth consecutive victory in their late-season march toward the playoffs and their eighth in 10 games.

Pittsburgh Steelers Have a 3rd-Down Problem

Through seven games, the Steelers are converting 36.05 percent of their third downs, which ranks 22nd in the NFL. That's down from a seventh-ranked 43.75 percent in 2014. And on defense, Pittsburgh's opponents are converting 41.24 percent of their third downs, with only six defenses faring worse this year.

Random Bytes

Next 'opponent' for Panthers CB Josh Norman will be ESPN's Jon Gruden

Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman has successfully taken on the opponent's top receiver this season, and he likely will draw Indianapolis' T.Y. Hilton on Monday night. But on Sunday, in a bus outside of Bank of America Stadium, Norman will take on a different "opponent."

Jets Reportedly Prompted Investigation of Patriots Sideline Staff During Game

The New York Jets filed an inquiry with the National Football League during their Week 7 loss to the New England Patriots to determine the identity of two individuals on the Patriots sideline.

2016 NFL Draft Scouting Notebook for Week 8

Certain landmarks stand out when you look at the NFL or college football season. The first four weeks of the pro season serve as an introduction to the year. Generally speaking, by the end of the first quarter of the season, we know who teams are and what they're lacking. After the second quarter, though—which is where we stand right now heading into Week 8—you really get a fuller picture of what's going on in the NFL and in college football with just a month left in that season.

Aqib Talib and the art of the interception

Aqib Talib knew the ending before the play clock started. Eight yards behind the line of scrimmage he stood, bent in his two-point stance as the processor in his mind scanned the Cleveland Browns' offensive formation and he awaited the call from Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett cited for OVI, suspended one game

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett was cited by Columbus police Saturday morning with a misdemeanor offense for operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI), the university announced.