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Bengal Bytes (12/13): Defining disruption

Behind the numbers on why Geno Atkins is so important to the Bengals' defense. How the Steelers rotate their linebackers. Predictions and who to start in fantasy in Week 14.

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Can Cincinnati Bengals' A.J. Green keep dominating Pittsburgh Steelers
The Cincinnati Bengals (10-2) will try to claim their fourth AFC North crown in 11 seasons when they welcome a division rival to town at 1 p.m. ET Sunday. The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) are eager to prevent the Bengals from clinching the division. Here are things to watch for during the game.

Bengals eye AFC North crown
The 10-2 Bengals are shopping for the economy package Sunday at sold-out Paul Brown Stadium (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12), where a victory would mean their second AFC North title in three seasons and a dastardly loss for the 7-5 Steelers in their Wild Card chase. But with the torrid Steelers pass offense rolling into town on a historic four-game run and a matchup with a limping Bengals secondary, Pittsburgh is looking for some bang for its buck in a building where Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been money with a 10-2 record.

5 things to watch, consider for Steelers game and a prediction
Here are five things to watch, consider and take note about for Sunday's Bengals game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which will kick off at 1 p.m. in Paul Brown Stadium including how the redzone will be the key.

Geno Atkins: Defining the value of disruption
The conversation opened innocently enough, with a discussion of the Bengals' 6-foot-1, 300-pound defensive tackle: Geno Atkins. At the mere mention of whether Atkins could enter the conversation for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, the eyes of defensive coordinator Paul Guenther widened. He perked up and situated himself in the chair behind his desk at 1 Paul Brown Stadium. A sprawling projector screen across a far wall paused a snapshot of an overhead view from a recent game. Pages of breakdowns and analytics spread across the desk.

Steelers vs. Bengals: What's the Game Plan for Cincinnati?
As it should, a late-season showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals features plenty swinging in the balance.  For Pittsburgh, it's about sneaking closer in the division and staying on track for a wild-card spot after winning three of four. For the hosts, it's an eye on the top seed in the conference after a fresh two-game streak.

Behind Enemy Lines

Steelers linebackers will come at Bengals in waves
Arthur Moats revealed the secret formula of how the Pittsburgh Steelers deploy their deep pool of outside linebackers. "Three and out, turnover, sack, you go back out there. If not, rotate," Moats said. "You just go out there and perform. It's that simple. I feel like you all (media) play into it more."

WR Brown glad to be Steelers' primary punt returner again
Many teams might not want a premier offensive player on special teams. The Pittsburgh Steelers, though, know the difference wide receiver Antonio Brown can make as a punt returner. Brown has scored four touchdowns in that role during his six-year career, including a 71-yarder to end scoring in a 45-10 rout of the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night.

By The Numbers: About that run game
The passing game it getting lots of praise, but don't forget the ground game. A look at several key statistics for Sunday's game.

Random Bytes

Week 14 fantasy advice: Watch out for Seferian-Jenkins, Stafford, Tye
ESPN has planted spies in every NFL locker room -- OK, so they're our NFL Nation team reporters -- to provide fantasy owners with inside intel to help you win your leagues. Here's a collection of fantasy-lineup advice pulled straight from the locker rooms and practice fields of every team. Here is our NFL Nation reporters' Week 14 fantasy advice

NFL Predictions Week 14: Bleacher Report's Expert Consensus Projections
This is it: the home stretch, the drive to the finish, the race to the wire, the burst to the bubble (or something like that)—Week 14 of the NFL season. It's the second week of December, and only now do we have we finally have our first mathematical elimination. Sorry, Cleveland Browns fans, but you're officially waiting for next year. Again. With 31 teams still technically in the hunt and plenty of divisional matchups on the slate, this could be the week your favorite team joins the Browns in exile—or cements its status as a contender.

Handicapping the Heisman Trophy finalists
Now that the college football regular season and conference championship games are over, the 90 percent of Heisman voters who hadn't already turned in their ballots before last weekend's games have a tough choice to make.

NFL Week 14 predictions: Bills over Eagles; Patriots over Texans
NFL Nation reporters predict a good week for LeSean McCoy, a bounceback for Tom Brady on Sunday night in Houston, and a close one in Cleveland.