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Bengals Bytes (11/13): Pressure on passers

The quarterbacks will decide who wins the contest on Monday night. The Steelers offense just got a boost. Kansas pulled a play deep out of their bag of tricks.

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NFL: Preseason-New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

By The Numbers Game Preview: Week 10

It’s the second time the Bengals have played in one road stadium twice in the same season. In 2008, quarterback Carson Palmer suffered what turned out to be a season-ending injury in a 26-23 overtime loss to the Giants on Sept. 21, 2008 at Giants Stadium. The next month Ryan Fitzpatrick quarterbacked them into an Oct. 12 matchup against Brett Favre’s Jets won by New York, 26-14, in what was called “The Meadowlands” for Jets games.

Maualugua ruled out for Monday

Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga has been ruled out of Monday’s game in New York (8:30 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 5 and ESPN) with what head coach Marvin Lewis calls a lower leg injury. But that’s about all Lewis knows as the Bengals try to find out if it is serious enough to end his season. “It’s something he’s been dealing with,” Lewis said after Saturday’s walk through at Paul Brown Stadium. “We wanted him to get it looked at to make sure we know what’s going on.”

Matchup of the Game: Giant challenge

Monday Night Football and the weekly spectacle (8:30 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 5, ESPN) deserves the capital letters with the Bengals’ A.J. Green and the Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. lining up at wide receiver like it’s some kind of Pro Bowl. Why not? They’ve been to every one since they’ve been in the NFL and they’ve carried their respective teams through the first half of the season.

Doc: Are Bengals still a playoff team? We'll soon find out

The Cincinnati Bengals teeter on the edge of an era. The Bengals who play at the New York Giants Monday night are in this strange, neither-here-nor-there place they haven’t visited for at least five years. That makes this a very big game. Y-u-u-ge, you might say. Sweeping pronouncements are usually overcooked in the socialist NFL, where all roads lead either to New England or 8-8. When we cry “huge’’ too much, we risk trivializing the games that really are huge. Not this time.

Predictions, three keys for Bengals vs. Giants

The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t really been in a position to make an opposing offense one-dimensional this year, but the New York Giants head into Monday night having done a good job of doing it to themselves. The Giants haven’t rushed for even 80 yards as a team since Sept. 25 and are the league’s worst running offense in the game, averaging just 68.2 yards per game. They are tied for 29th in yards per carry, at 3.2. The Bengals aren’t great at stopping the run (23rd), but with the Giants already being down to their backup running backs and having lost guard Justin Pugh, who Pro Football Focus considered one of the top five linemen in the league through the first half, it’s important for the Bengals to keep the Giants pass-happy.

Bengals in Focus with PFF: Pressure and Eli Manning

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 the struggles in the Cincinnati pass rush, performance of Geno Atkins and importance of pressure in forcing Eli Manning turnovers.

AFC North Bytes

Steelers activate Green

When Ladarius Green signed with the Steelers back in March, he was excited about the opportunity that was ahead of him. “It’s good to know they wanted to sign me, that they believe in me,” said Green shortly after signing. “Now I want to get on the field and catch some passes.”

Cody Kessler says he’s motivated by Thursday night benching

Browns quarterback Cody Kessler was benched on Thursday night, but he’s not down about it. Kessler said on Friday that he’s fired up and eager to prove he can be the man to lead the Browns, even if coach Hue Jackson had a quick hook with him during Thursday night’s loss to the Ravens.

Biceps injury isn't preventing Terrell Suggs from being defensive force

Playing with a torn biceps hasn’t stopped Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. Playing 14 NFL seasons hasn’t stop Suggs either. The Ravens (5-4) can enjoy their weekend off knowing Suggs is still an important catalyst for their defense. Suggs had his most impactful game of the season in Thursday night’s 28-7 victory over the Browns, generating consistent pressure as a pass rusher, including a strip sack that helped seal the win.

Random Bytes

Kansas Runs Hidden-Man Kick Return

Kansas is, as in most years, a miserably bad football team. But today they did something neat. The 1-8 Jayhawks are keeping things close with the equally 1-8 Cyclones.

Bucs RB Doug Martin will be active Sunday vs. Bears

Martin practiced this week and showed progress each day but was listed as "questionable" in the final injury report. Head coach Dirk Koetter said he had the final 48 hours before kickoff to be cleared to play, and he will be back in a Bucs uniform as Tampa Bay seeks its first home win of the season.

What Impact Will the Return of Dion Lewis Have on New England?

After missing the first nine weeks of the season recovering from last year's ACL injury, New England welcomes back Dion Lewis this week for their matchup with Seattle. What added dimension can the running back add to the already potent Patriots offense? Kevin Duffy and Mark Daniels look at the explosive playmaker's options.

Isaiah Pead Reportedly in Critical Condition Following Car Crash

Free-agent running back Isaiah Pead was involved in a single-car accident early Saturday morning in Columbus, Ohio. According to NBC 4's Matt Barnes, Pead is in critical condition. Citing the Columbus Division of Police, NBC 4 reported Pead lost control of his vehicle before he was ejected from the car. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.