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Bengals Bytes (12/2): Down goes Gronk

Marvin Lewis will be matched up with a coach he played against as a player. Another former Bengals coach offers his support for Hue. Rob Gronkowski is expected to miss the rest of the regular season.

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NFL: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Forecast: Week 13

By now most people have a good idea whether or not they are in the fantasy playoffs, causing most leagues to be half active, and half dead. The thing about me is even when I am out of the playoff race, I will continue to run my team as if I was in just to play spoiler. If I can’t win, my goal is to make sure you don’t win either!

Thursday twists: Coach's corner; Mixed returns for Erickson; Book on rookie QB?; Williams limited

It’s not exactly like Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis relished the news but Sunday’s game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 19) marks just the second time in his 220 regular-season games that he’s opposed a head coach that he also faced as a player and the first time in 11 years. In his last of eight NFL seasons the Eagles’ Doug Pederson quarterbacked Cleveland against Baltimore in the 2000 season the Ravens set the NFL’s all-time single season defensive record with Lewis as their defensive coordinator.

Bengals in Focus with PFF: Offensive line year over year

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 which analyzes every player on every play of every game to aid in game research. This week, we talk to lead PFF editor-in-chief Jeff Dooley about their grades of the Bengals' offensive line this year compared to last season.

Bengals Walkthru: The fourth quarter mystery

Walkthru takes a look at the ugly offensive numbers in the final quarter this year, plus, could Marvin retire, BBP, Know Your Iloka, Social Cooking with Karlos Dansby, degenerate corner and The Roots.

UC roots still help Connor Barwin thrive

On Oct. 15, Connor Barwin turned 30 years old. The age serves as a line of demarcation in the NFL reserved as a traditional plot point for the beginning of the decline. Don’t talk to Barwin, who has started 96 consecutive games, about feeling the decline. He says he feels as good as ever in his career with the Eagles. So good it’s hard to remember his birthday.

Bengals notes: Lewis, Guenther big fans of UC's Jason Kelce

After studying this week's opponent, Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther paid Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce perhaps the greatest compliment a defensive coordinator could give regarding an opponent.

AFC North Bytes

Ravens WR Mike Wallace has no ill will toward former Dolphins team

If things had gone according to plan, veteran receiver Mike Wallace would still be a member of the Miami Dolphins and a big part of their offense. Miami signed Wallace to a five-year, $60 million contract in 2013 to provide quarterback Ryan Tannehill a dynamic threat and get the team to the playoffs. But the acquisition didn’t work for various reasons, and the Dolphins traded Wallace to the Minnesota Vikings in 2015, after just two seasons.

Miami coordinator Vance Joseph offers support for Hue Jackson

It would be an understatement to say Hue Jackson is having a rough time in his first year as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. He is 0-12 and became emotional last week during a news conference as the losses pile up. Jackson said it was "the hardest thing ever."

Giants vs. Steelers: Breaking Down Most Intriguing Game of NFL Week 13

Looking for the best NFL coverage around? Bleacher Report is the go-to destination for armchair quarterbacks everywhere. B/R's NFL coverage delivers must-see gridiron analysis on a daily basis. You've never been so ready for some football.

Random Bytes

Former Jets, Chiefs RB Joe McKnight reportedly killed in Louisiana shooting

Former NFL running back Joe McKnight has been identified as the victim of a fatal shooting on Thursday in Terrytown, La., according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Witnesses at the scene say that McKnight was appearing to apologize after an argument between the two men before he was shot multiple times and killed.

Rob Gronkowski Injury Update: TE Reportedly Will Miss 8 Weeks with Back Surgery

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will have back surgery Friday, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci reported Gronkowski suffered a ruptured disk during New England's Week 10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks and is expected to miss eight weeks. ESPN's Adam Schefter (via NFL on ESPN) confirmed Gronkowski's eight-week recovery time line.

Cowboys survive Vikings, win 11th straight

The Cowboys turned in another solid defensive effort and cashed in a key turnover Thursday night as they held off the Vikings, 17-15. It came down to the final seconds. The Vikings drove and scored their only touchdown of the game with 25 seconds left when Jerick McKinnon caught a pass in the flats from Sam Bradford, but the two-point conversion failed and Jason Witten recovered the ensuing kick to preserve the win.

Trevor Siemian still sidelined at Broncos practice

The Broncos practiced Thursday without the services of Trevor Siemian. NFL Network's James Palmer reported that Denver's starting quarterback missed his second straight practice with the sprained foot he suffered in Sunday night's overtime loss to the Chiefs.