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Bengals Bytes (11/25): Eliminating elimination

The Bengals usually rise to the challenge when their backs are against the wall. The Steelers beat up on the Colts who were missing Luck. Dez Bryant called out Josh Norman following the Cowboys victory.

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NFL: Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Eliminate the term 'elimination'

Sunday in Baltimore (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) is as close to an elimination game as the Bengals have played in the regular season since, well, it really hasn’t been that long, has it? Two years ago they played Denver on a Monday night at Paul Brown Stadium and had to win to secure a post-season berth or face doing it in Pittsburgh in the regular-season finale. They did.

Fantasy Forecast: Week 12

News broke late Tuesday night that Bears QB Jay Cutler would miss the remainder of the season with a torn Labrum, then on Wednesday Zach Miller was placed on injured reserve with a broken foot. That ladies and gentleman is what is known as the final nail in the coffin for the Bears 2016 season. WRs Cameron Meredith and Eddie Royal had a sliver of hope with Cutler slinging the pigskin around the field, but both can be safely cut with Matt Barkley taking over QB duties.

BBP2: Previewing Baltimore, Brandon LaFell, Steve Smith

Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski discuss the decision to activate Cedric Peerman instead of first-round pick William Jackson III, the notion of tanking and look at the matchups in Baltimore this weekend. Plus, hear from Pro Football Focus on the improved Ravens defense up the middle, Brandon LaFell from Beyond The Stripes and the entertaining conference call with Baltimore's Steve Smith Sr.

Bengals notes: Ravens' Wallace a deep concern; Bengals injury report

Steve Smith, Sr. gets a lot of attention from opposing secondaries (and the television cameras) for good reason, but the wide receiver opposite him, Mike Wallace, is turning in the type of season the Miami Dolphins envisioned when they plucked him from the Pittsburgh Steelers as a $60 million free agent in the summer of 2013.

AFC North Bytes

THANKSGIVING THRASHING: Brown, Ben dominate Indianapolis once again

Different location, same blowout Steelers win. For the third consecutive year, the Steelers thoroughly dominated the Colts, and like the last two meetings, it was largely due to the duo of Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. Despite both of those previous meetings being in Pittsburgh, the Steelers walked out of Lucas Oil Stadium with their second consecutive win this year, 28-7 over Indianapolis.

A Thanksgiving Appreciation Of Steve Smith

Steve Smith was never supposed to be this good. He was drafted in the third round out of Utah way back in 2001. During his rookie year, he was used primarily as a kick returner and was fantastic at it, scoring twice. But a lot of great returners have tried to make the leap to every-down wideout and failed. Remember when the Bears kept trying to make Devin Hester happen at wideout? I do. It sucked.

The Jim Harbaugh trade that could've saved the Browns, 49ers from misery

In hindsight, the 49ers and Browns, purveyors of horrible football and questionable decision making for quite some time now, we're actually on to something. In what would have been one of the rare, proactive, insightful maneuvers for either moribund franchise, they were privately discussing a trade of Jim Harbaugh to Cleveland following the 2013 season. Now, with both again affixed to the bottom of the NFL standings, in a losing race for the No. 1 pick in the draft, I couldn't help but reflect on what could have been.

Random Bytes

Dez Bryant Comments on Josh Norman, Cowboys' Win vs. Redskins

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant took to social and traditional media following Thursday's 31-26 win over Washington, blasting cornerback Josh Norman.

CBS Trolls Aretha Franklin's Long National Anthem with Time of Possession Chart

Before the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions kicked off Thursday's slate of Thanksgiving NFL games, legendary singer Aretha Franklin delivered the national anthem. It was a tad lengthy

Matt Prater continues perfect clutch kicking vs. Vikes

Matthew Stafford tied an NFL record with his seventh fourth-quarter comeback win of the season after the Lions' 16-13 Thanksgiving victory over the Vikings. The overlooked reason, however, for the success of the Cardiac Cats in the final frame has been the reliability of kicker Matt Prater. Detroit's kicker was 2 for 2 on game-tying or game-winning field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter or overtime Thursday, extending his career perfect mark in that metric to 25-of-25.

Rams hint at more deep throws for Goff vs. Saints

Jared Goff hardly turned heads in his NFL debut, but the Rams are hinting at turning him loose this Sunday against the Saints. "I sure hope so," Goff said after Wednesday's practice, per Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. "We've got some good stuff in this week, got a really good plan going."