Vontaze Burfict helped a Bengals team that was struggling vs. the run clamp down in his return in Week 3, and they'll need more of the same Sunday. Burfict, who returned from a three-game suspension prior to the Bengals' win against the Dolphins last week, made a key difference in the team's run defense last season. His teammate Carlos Dunlap said there's a different tone when Burfict is in the game.
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was in a playful mood on Monday morning. He couldn't resist a little jab at Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.
Bengals linebackers coach Jim Haslett solved the Great Tez Snaps Mystery Monday when he confirmed that Vontaze Burfict played 37 of the defense’s 45 snaps in his season debut last Thursday night. There were varying numbers out there, such as 27 and 34. But whatever it was, it was more than any of his linebackers in a rotation he used Karlos Dansby and Vincent Rey primarily on third down and Burfict, Dansby, and middle linebacker Rey Maualuga on pretty much the rest.
A look at records the Bengals are on pace to set -- both good and bad -- through four weeks, plus, Eifert on Beyond The Stripes, run game development, Nelson with an assist and Peko at FC Cincinnati.
A quarter of the season is in the books, and the Bengals have struggled running the ball. But inside the numbers, there are positives the team sees that could lead to a break out.
AFC North Bytes
With a full complement of weapons on offense, and an increasing comfort with a young defense, the Steelers showed their true colors in Sunday night’s blowout of the Chiefs. And in doing so they showed why they’re still a popular Super Bowl pick.
Joseph Bauer, a 55-year-old Ravens fan from the Baltimore suburb of Jessup, is in critical condition at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center after he sustained a head injury during a fight with a pair of Raiders fans at the Ravens Stadium this weekend. The Baltimore Sun first reported on this story, and according to their report, Scott Smith and Andrew Nappi were each charged with first- and second-degree assault for their role in the fight.
The Browns turned down a trade offer from the Broncos last year that reportedly included a second-round pick and either a player or another future pick. If trade activity heats up prior to the Nov. 1 deadline this year, the Browns should hold out for a first-round pick.
The Pittsburgh Steelers placed linebacker Bud Dupree on the injured reserve list with an abdominal injury that required surgery. It is uncertain when he will return to action.
Terence Newman has a question that must be answered. At a spry 38 years young, he's the second-oldest non-kicker in the NFL. He's also a hairline connoisseur. Five years ago, the Vikings cornerback Bic'd his head for good. So after Newman shreds this visiting reporter for clinging onto loose strands—"Let it go, man! L-I-G! Let it go!"—he naturally moves on to LeBron James.
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham spent his bye week in jail after he was arrested on a concealed weapons charge. Here's what we know ... the 27-year-old linebacker was popped in Miami on Sunday. He was hauled to a nearby station where he was booked for a 2nd degree misdemeanor concealed weapons charge.
Players walked purposefully around the field (OK, the pitch), clapping for the fans who had remained. Ten minutes after Futbol Club Cincinnati finished its last game of its first season, a dozen players circled the horseshoe of Nippert Stadium, faced the stands and applauded.
My favorite new weekly show this Fall television season: "The Vikings embarrass a superstar." Odell Beckham's no-show in the second half of Minnesota's thorough 24-10 takedown of the Giants on Monday night was only the latest episode to showcase great players suffering career worst performances.
With a powerful defense leading an offense that's doing just enough to win, the Los Angeles Rams are off to a 3-1 start in their homecoming season. They aren't blowing their own horns just yet, however.
Let's be blunt: This was not the greatest Sunday of football in NFL history. It's no fun seeing Cam Newton and Carson Palmer get knocked out of games. Only a diehard Bills fan or a Ryan twin wants to see a third-string quarterback with a hand injury stumble around for the Patriots while Tom Brady twiddles his thumbs and waits to get out of Roger Goodell's thinking chair.
Carson Wentz might be coming back from the bye with reinforcements. Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz told reporters Monday he has been medically cleared to return to the team after suffering a displaced rib in their Week 1 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Ertz had six catches for 58 yards in that contest, which he made it through even after suffering the injury.