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Reviewing a wild Monday in Cincinnati as Bengals prepare for Browns

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Taking a look at the news of the day on Monday and getting ready for Thursday's game against the Cleveland Browns.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

It's good to be a Bengals fan.

Cincinnati, securing another fourth-quarter comeback with a 16-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, satisfyingly expanded their undefeated record to 7-0... a first in franchise history. Celebrate. It's a win over the Steelers, in Pittsburgh. You're experiencing history too; there has never been a Cincinnati Bengals franchise with a 7-0 record. Not during the coveted Super Bowl seasons in 1981 or 1988, nor the should-have-been super bowl seasons in 1975 and 2005.

Yet, we don't linger. You can't. Cincinnati has already conducted their first practice of the week on Monday, preparing for Cleveland this Thursday night. And based on my personal experience... Cleveland usually scares me... and they scare me this Thursday. Regardless, the Bengals are preparing.

According to reports, Rey Maualuga (calf) and Andre Smith (concussion) sat out while Carlos Dunlap (shoulder) was limited. Maualuga, who suffered a calf injury early against the Steelers, was quickly downgraded from questionable to doubtful during Sunday's game while a cloudy-eyed Smith walked back to the locker room after Andy Dalton's end zone interception.

In the meantime, despite published reports, defensive backs Joe Haden and Donte Whitner have not been ruled out for Thursday's game, but things appear doubtful for both players. "I'm not going to sit here and rule them out as we speak," Browns head coach Mike Pettine said Monday, "but they're in the protocol. I think it would be extremely difficult for them to be cleared in time to play on a Thursday." Haden and Whitner departed Sunday's game against Arizona with concussions.

Does Cleveland scare you?


The Bengals have nine regular season games remaining (hard to imagine, huh?), of which five will be played on primetime. Five? The NFL announced on Monday Cincinnati's Week 11 game against Arizona will be flexed from 4:05 p.m. EST to Sunday Night Football.

Not only will the Bengals play five primetime games over the next two months, they'll play three straight starting this Thursday against the Browns. Cincinnati is scheduled to host the Texans on Monday Night Football and then head to Arizona in Week 11 for a Sunday Night game, bouncing San Diego and Kansas City out of the scheduled primetime slot.

Based on historical performances, how the Bengals perform on primetime is of significant interest. Here's a look at the team's primetime performances since 2004:


A breakdown (since 2007):

Thursday Night Football: 2-4
Sunday Night Football: 1-7
Monday Night Football: 4-4