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Bengals Bytes (1/21): Heroic

Just how good was the Bengals' defense last season? Who deserves the end of season awards in the Cincinnati locker room? A Patriots player saved a woman before their playoff game Saturday and played with more than 20 stitches in his leg.

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

County has spent $920M in deal to build stadium, keep NFL team in town since 2000 - Insider - Story
Hamilton County taxpayers have spent more than $920 million as part of a deal to build and operate Paul Brown Stadium since 2000, when the stadium first welcomed Cincinnati Bengals fans. The county is expected to start paying for some of the Cincinnati Bengals’ game-day operating expenses — a new cost of nearly $2.7 million in 2017 that will grow each year.

Hobson's Choice: on to '16
But not without a few look-backs now that we've had a self-imposed 10-day cooling off period. One thought for '16: Andy Dalton's new playcaller is striving for balance between passing and handing off.

Mike Freeman's 10-Point Stance: Greatness Isn't Always About Who Won the Game
If there has ever been a time to take every quarterback's postseason win-loss records, put them on an island and obliterate them with a 100-megaton nuke, Godzilla style, that time is now.  Aaron Rodgers is 7-6 in the postseason, a .538 winning percentage. Mark Rypien has a .714 postseason winning percentage. Trent Dilfer's is .833. Jake Delhomme's is .625. Mark Sanchez's is .667. That's right, Mark Freaking Sanchez has a better postseason record than Rodgers.

How stingy was the Cincinnati Bengals' defense in 2015?
With the offseason now here for the Cincinnati Bengals, we're taking a daily look at a few statistics that either defined the past season or went overlooked during it. Today, we highlight the following number: 29

AFC North was black-and-blue division for starting QBs in 2015
In the game of quarterback survivor, the AFC North was the ultimate loser. Three quarterbacks suffered significant injuries in a span of three weeks and failed to finish the season. The only one left standing was Ben Roethlisberger, and he wasn't exactly the picture of health. He suffered a knee sprain, a mid-foot sprain, a concussion and a sprained shoulder.

Bengals End of Season Awards
Bengals beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski compiled end of season awards, some serious and others not so much. Each award includes an honorable mention, informative nugget and look back to last year's winner.

Random Bytes

Bills hire a female assistant coach
The Cardinals made significant waves at the outset of the season, hiring Jenn Welter to serve as a training-camp assistant coach, working with inside linebackers. When camp ended, so did Welter's assignment. The Bills are now taking the next step in the evolution of female football coaches.

Map: Where 4- and 5-star players come from
Sport Source Analytics posted a very interesting map today: where four- and five-star recruits in the 2014 and 2015 recruiting classes came from, and who signed them. The area between Atlanta and Birmingham, apparently, produced as many blue chips as any other metro area in the country, if not more.

Clete Blakeman is referee for Super Bowl 50
Clete Blakeman will be the referee heading the Super Bowl 50 officiating staff on Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif., confirmed by multiple sources. The assignments were officially given to the crew Wednesday. Blakeman worked the overtime Divisional Playoff game between the Packers and Cardinals last Saturday. Each of Blakeman’s crew members worked a Divisional Playoff game, but no more than three appeared on the same crew.

Pro Football Focus' 2015 NFL Positional Coaches of the Year
The 2015 season marks the first time PFF is honoring positional coaches and coordinators across the NFL. We felt it was time that the guys behind the scenes got the recognition their efforts deserved, and took it as an opportunity to highlight the work we saw as exemplary.

Patriots’ Darius Fleming says he played through injury suffered saving a woman from a burning car
Patriots linebacker Darius Fleming says he played in Saturday’s win over the Chiefs with stitches in his leg, thanks to an injury he suffered kicking in a window to pull a woman out of a burning car.

Report: Josh Gordon applies to the league for reinstatement
New Browns coach Hue Jackson has a reputation for explosive offense, and for reaching people others cannot. He may have a chance to kill two birds with one stone, as one of his new team’s best players is taking steps toward a return.