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Bengals Bytes (11/18): Familiar face

The Bengals will be up against a quarterback they know all too well on Sunday. Coaches noticed Brian Hoyer's concussion symptoms prior to the diagnosis. Aldon Smith got hit with a year ban, and more NFL news.

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Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Reaction: Bengals fall on Monday night
Enquirer Bengals beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski wrap up the Bengals' first loss of the season, against the Texans.

Adam Clements chats with Bengals OT Andrew Whitworth
This team lives and dies with its offensive line. The anchor of that unit, Andrew Whitworth is the driving force.

Cincinnati Bengals' loss to Texans is not all Andy Dalton's fault
The Bengals' first loss of the season, a 10–6 stunner at home vs. Houston, falls on Andy Dalton's shoulders, sure. But only insofar as that Dalton is part of an offense that absolutely tanked in the face of a spirited Texans defense. Dalton had seemed to quiet most of his skeptics during the Bengals' 8-0 start, but all of the old narratives about him emerged again rapidly on Monday night against Houston.

Eras, talent collide when Carson Palmer faces Andy Dalton
The Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton is enjoying a career year, while ex-Bengals QB Carson Palmer has led the Arizona Cardinals to title contention.

Notes: Bengals defense rises up charts
For all of the talk of the Bengals' offense this season, the last three weeks the defense churned out the performances which changed the game. With a little help from the offense Monday, that would have been the case again.

Bengals CB Pacman Jones: Texans act like they won the Super Bowl
The Bengals lost their first game of the season on Monday night, falling to the still-relevant-in-their-terrible-division Texans, 10-6. Cincinnati's performance served as a stark reminder that Andy Dalton continues to be a different player once the sun goes down, whether it's a nationally televised contest or the playoffs.

First look: Bengals vs. Cardinals
The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off their first loss of the season on Monday night, a really ugly 10-6 loss to the Houston Texans. They now head west for their toughest test of the year, at least by record. The Bengals are 8-1 and have a clear path to the AFC North and the No. 2 overall seed and a first round bye, but after 10 weeks of play only two opponents (Buffalo, Pittsburgh) have posted a winning record.

Behind Enemy Lines

Johnathan Joseph inflicts damage on his former team again
The interception by Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph a key play in knocking off the previously-unbeaten Bengals.

How the Houston Texans 'D' shut down potent Cincinnati Bengals offense
This is what the Houston Texans were waiting for from their defense. Sure, they held the Tennessee Titans without a touchdown, but the Titans were missing their starting quarterback and had struggled offensively anyway. Monday night's performance to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 10-6, was different.

Coaches saw signs of Brian Hoyer's concussion before diagnosis
Before Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer went into the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion, offensive coordinator George Godsey noticed something was wrong. The usually sharp Hoyer wasn't operating as he normally did after taking a sack in the third quarter.

Random Bytes

NFL officiating under siege, Week 11 power rankings
Call it a trap game if you want to—a lackluster Bengals team failed to score a touchdown and fell to the Texans, 10-6, at home on Monday night—and yet if Tyler Eifert catches a couple of those passes he dropped, Cincinnati might still rank among the unbeatens. One thing’s for sure: Arizona, this Sunday night, will be even tougher than the Texans.

Waiver Wire Week 11: Top Pickups, Drops and Expert Analysis
For the second straight week, the New England Patriots suffered a major injury to a key offensive player, which has many fantasy owners running to the waiver wire. However, unlike last week, they’ll likely find a useful addition for the rest of the season

NFL suspends Aldon Smith of Oakland Raiders for year over August incident
Oakland Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended for one year without pay under the NFL's substance-abuse policy, the league said Tuesday. In September, Smith, 25, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run, drunken driving and vandalism, charges that stem from an alleged Aug. 6 incident.

Manziel cleared by NFL in domestic incident
Johnny Manziel was named the Browns’ starting quarterback on Tuesday morning, and later in the day he learned the NFL has found no reason to discipline him based on its investigation of his role in an October roadside incident involving Manziel and his girlfiend.