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Bengals Bytes (12/6): Defensive turnaround

The Bengals defense started the year off slow, but they are looking to finish strong. Robert Griffin III still hasn’t heard for certain if he’ll be starting against the Bengals. Who are the most watchable teams in the NFL?

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Marvin Lewis news conference transcript

I think we have to be most pleased with our young group of guys. Our receivers particularly -- James Wright, Tyler Boyd, Cody Core, Alex Erickson, Brandon LaFell, and Tyler Eifert. They picked up the slack in a game where we had to throw the ball a little bit more than anticipated. Those guys did a very good job of executing and being efficient with it.

Games and milestones

In each of the last four games of his 11th season Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth either joins or passes a Bengals luminary on the all-time games list as befitting his station as one of the franchise’s most beloved players. Ditto his 2006 draft classmate, Domata Peko, the club’s most prolific nose tackle since legendary Tim Krumrie.

The play's the thing

One of the Bengals said it after last week’s loss in Baltimore. “We’re playing football,” he said. “But we’re not making plays.” Enter left end Carlos Dunlap’s four tipped passes, WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s two interceptions and wide receiver Cody Core’s 50-yard catch and the four-game winless streak evaporated Sunday in a 32-14 win over the Eagles at Paul Brown Stadium.

Bengals defense eyes top spot in second half

On paper, Sunday wasn’t the best performance by the Cincinnati Bengals defense in 2016. They allowed fewer points to Miami back in September. They allowed fewer yards in seven other games. But it signaled yet another step up the ladder since the bye four weeks ago, a stretch of games that – when viewed as a collective – represents the best football that side of the ball has played in 2016.

Lewis assesses move from Ogbuehi to Fisher

Jake Fisher finally earned his opportunity. With a season of inconsistency holding back starter Cedric Ogbuehi, the Bengals finally decided to bench the 2015 first-round pick and give the 2015 second-round pick a shot at a right tackle. As for the official review of his rotation with veteran Eric Winston and first significant snaps at tackle?

Eagles coach Doug Pederson -- 'Not everybody' tried hard in loss

Doug Pederson's narrative that the Eagles gave full effort in a 32-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday came crashing down at the tail end of his day-after press conference. The head coach was asked if he could honestly say that everyone on the team played hard after reviewing the game film.

Top and Bottom 3 QB performances from Week 13 of the NFL

With one game remaining in Week 13, Andy Dalton leads the way after one of the best games of his career, while the 49ers quarterbacks combined for a historically bad performance. ESPN Stats & Information takes a look at the best and worst QB performances from Week 13 so far in terms of ESPN's Total Quarterback Rating (QBR).

Vontaze Burfict sets the tone as Bengals finally snap losing streak

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was convinced of one thing following a 32-14 win against the Eagles on Sunday. He should have had an interception returned for a touchdown. And it’s Karlos Dansby’s fault that he didn’t. Burfict intercepted Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz twice on Sunday and ran the second one back 47 yards before he was pushed out of bounds by Wentz.

AFC North Bytes

Justin Forsett to Broncos

Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak was the Ravens offensive coordinator in 2014 when Forsett went to the Pro Bowl and finished with a career-high 1,266 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. The 31-year-old running back was a member of the Detroit Lions before they released him this week.

Browns' RG3 waits for word on if he'll start vs. Bengals

Quarterback Robert Griffin III was initially told he probably would not be able to play again this season after he was injured in the Cleveland Browns' season opener.

In retrospect, the Giants weren’t a quality opponent for the Steelers

Like you, I looked at the Steelers’ matchup against the 8-3 Giants — who were on a six-game winning streak — and initially saw it as the first true test since the Steelers lost a heartbreaker to the Cowboys several weeks ago. I wanted it to be so, I really did. Then I ran the numbers.

Random Bytes

10 best players from Week 13's NFL action

Who stood out in Week 13 of the 2016 NFL season? Pro Football Focus Senior Analyst Sam Monson identifies the 10 best players from Sunday's games.

Jets closing in on top five pick in 2017 NFL Draft, which is nice

If you’re a Jets fan looking for a silver lining this morning, well, there isn’t really one. Your team stinks. But as we’d rather light a candle than curse your darkness, we can point out that they are moving closer to securing a top-five spot in the 2017 NFL Draft order thanks to last night’s loss and the Bears’ epic win over the 49ers.

Colts vs. Jets: Score and Twitter Reaction for Monday Night Football

The Indianapolis Colts would be Super Bowl contenders instead of a .500 team if they played the hapless New York Jets every week. Andrew Luck and Co. destroyed the Jets 41-10 on Monday at MetLife Stadium. The quarterback threw two touchdown passes to Dwayne Allen on the Colts' opening two drives, and the visitors never looked back.

The Debrief, Week 14: Raiders, Cowboys most watchable teams

The final act of the 2016 campaign is setting up to be a doozy. This is one of those years where the best, freshest stories happen to reside with the best teams. A return to dominance for national teams like Dallas and Oakland has provided a welcome shakeup to an NFL hierarchy that was growing too familiar. It's almost impossible to overhype this Raiders offense or a Cowboys team led by two rookie MVP candidates, although we'll try, with Dallas one game into a prime-time streak of four straight weeks.

Chargers owner still weighing options tied to potential relocation

Chargers owner Dean Spanos and other team executives have a meeting scheduled for later this week with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other San Diego business leaders, according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation. These meetings likely will continue until the January 15 deadline to decide whether to move in with the Rams in Los Angeles.