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Bengals Bytes (10/22): Stepping up

Andy Dalton is carrying the Bengals offense and avoiding pressure. The Ravens will be without key defenders. The worst addition to fantasy football is here,

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals’ Andrew Whitworth compares Mike Mitchell to Vontaze Burfict | Steelers Wire

Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth is not immune to this way of think either it seems and he has a unique perspective on who the real villains in the NFL are, one he explained to Geoff Hobson from the team’s own website.

Matchup of the Game: Uncle Andy in Hue Jax City

And so they meet again Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) at Paul Brown Stadium when Dalton tries to stay a move ahead of the man who helped catapult his career last season. This meeting is in a far different setting than The Meeting. Neither Jackson nor Dalton are going to get very specific about it, but not long after Dalton’s fourth straight Wild Card loss in Indianapolis to end the 2014 season, Jackson challenged Dalton as only Jackson can.

Notes: Lewis: we'll see on Eifert; Haden doubtful; Pryor questionable, but what a story

Although tight end Tyler Eifert was limited in both practices this week with a sore back, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis didn’t rule him out of Sunday’s game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) against the Browns at Paul Brown Stadium after Friday morning’s walk-through. He said it won’t be a game-time decision, but he’ll make the call this weekend on whether Eifert plays for the first time this year.

By The Numbers Game Preview: Week 7

For the fourth time in club history and for the first time since Dec. 22, 2013, a former Bengals assistant coach who has become a head coach opposes his boss. Browns head coach Hue Jackson worked under Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis for seven seasons in four different jobs, the last as offensive coordinator the past two seasons.

Bengals vs. Browns: Predictions, 3 keys to victory

The Cincinnati Bengals are tied for 12th in the league with 13 sacks as a team, 12 of which have come from the front four. The Cleveland Browns have already gone through four quarterbacks (and a fifth, Terrelle Pryor, Sr. has thrown passes) and have allowed 19 sacks through six games. Current starter Cody Kessler has been dropped 10 times in his four starts and was knocked from one game with an injury.

Bengals in Focus with PFF: Linebacker struggles

Every week, we sit down to talk Bengals with a lead analyst at Pro Football Focus, an advanced analytics website headquartered in Cincinnati off Main St. in Over-the-Rhine. PFF is a service used by 19 out of the 32 NFL teams and analyzes every player on every play of every game to aid in game research. This week, we talk to lead PFF analyst Steve Palazzolo about issues the Bengals have experienced at linebacker in recent weeks and trends worth watching at the position going forward.

Cool under pressure: Andy Dalton takes another step

At the moment his back foot planted, Andy Dalton already had to move forward in the pocket. His three receivers had not yet gotten to the top of their routes, and Rex Burkhead wasn’t through the line of scrimmage. Dalton moved up and to his right, throwing a pump fake in the direction of Alex Erickson as he ran forward. That pump held the safety for a moment, a moment that opened a window for Dalton to find Brandon LaFell in the back of the end zone against the Dallas Cowboys.

Patriots' LeGarrette Blount, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski each fined

Last Sunday's chippy game between the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals has resulted in a handful of fines. For the Patriots, running back LeGarrette Blount, receiver Julian Edelman and tight end Rob Gronkowski were each fined $9,115. The amount is pre-determined as part of the collective bargaining agreement.

Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson remembered fondly in Cincinnati

Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson spent the majority of his professional coaching career to date in Cincinnati. So in a way, his return to Paul Brown Stadium this Sunday will be a homecoming of sorts. The Bengals are happy to see him come back, but they respectfully hope Jackson's team doesn't choose this weekend to pull out its first win of the season.

AFC North Bytes

Ravens notebook: Elvis Dumervil, C.J. Mosley ruled out against Jets

r the second straight week, the Ravens won't have strong-side linebacker Elvis Dumervil (foot) and middle linebacker C.J. Mosley (hamstring). Both players were declared out for the New York Jets game.

With Terrelle Pryor ailing, rookie Rashard Higgins thrown into fire: 'I'm the man for the job'

Terrelle Pryor, the Browns' best offensive weapon, might have to sit out the Bengals game with his hamstring injury, and rookie Rashard Higgins has been told he's being thrown into the fire.

Tuitt: 'I want sacks under my name'

Stephon Tuitt quickly interjected when the question directed to him suggested that he came awfully close on a pair of occasions of collecting his first sack of the season. "I have more than two," Tuitt said Friday, with a laugh, before adding, "I'm just saying that." Well, at least Tuitt still has somewhat of a sense of humor left, and that's good, because something has to keep him sane through these early-season struggles of near misses for the Steelers. Sort of like this one

Random Bytes

Please Arrest Whoever Did This To Fantasy Football

Oh yes. "Roster options," on’s fantasy football, is exactly what it sounds like: In exchange for cold hard American cash, you get the right to sub in a player from your bench if he outscored one in your starting lineup.

Josh Brown Placed on Commissioner's Exempt List

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown has been placed on the commissioner's exempt list after he admitted to domestic abuse against his ex-wife, Molly Brown. ESPN's Chris Mortensen (via first reported Brown was going to be placed on the commissioner's exempt list and will not play for the Giants again.

It's not always who you play, but when you play them in NFL

That Patriots-Steelers matchup Sunday sure looked like a Game of the Year candidate. Then all of the air went out of it when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger damaged his knee. Don't get us wrong, it still could be a terrific meeting of the AFC's two best teams. It also could be a major dud: Tom Brady vs. Landry Jones doesn't have much spice.

Nineteen things to know about Week 7 injury report

Fantasy owners of Odell Beckham can rest easy. The talented Giants wide receiver is likely to play Sunday against the Rams after being limited in practice this week with a hip injury. The Giants announced Friday that Beckham was "probable" -- even though that isn't a designation the NFL uses anymore.