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Bengals Bytes (9/21): Unbalanced

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The Bengals need to fix their running game. The Ravens found a loophole in the kickoff rules. The Patriots want Jimmy Garoppolo to play on Thursday night through his shoulder injury.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals run game needs quick fix with Broncos up next

The Cincinnati Bengals have the unlucky task of trying to ignite a struggling run game on the week the Denver Broncos come into town. Last season, the Broncos allowed only 83.6 rushing yards per game. Two weeks into the new season, the defending Super Bowl champions haven’t appeared to miss a beat on defense.

Fantasy Recap: Week 2

It’s never a good week in Fantasy Football when your first overall pick leaves the game with an injury. That is just what happened to a lot of people in Week 2 when Vikings RB Adrian Peterson left the game with an apparent knee injury and didn’t return. On Monday we found out he tore his Meniscus cartilage and is all but ruled out for Week 3. Week 2 also produced injuries to Lion RB Ameer Abdullah (foot, time unknown), Browns QB Josh McCown (shoulder, multiple week injury), Chargers RB Danny Woodhead (torn ACL, done for season), Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder, multiple week injury), Broncos LB DeMarcus Ware (broken forearm, out 4-5 weeks), and Bucs RB Doug Martin (tweaked hamstring, time unknown), Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring, out 2-3 weeks).

Bengals seek to balance the ticket

Despite boasting two of the best young running backs in the NFL, their quarterback is on pace to break the NFL record for yards passing in a season while the Bengals stare at a running game that is ranked next-to-last in NFL rushing yards per game and 30th with a jarring 2.8 yards per rush on just a combined 30 rushes from Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill.

Bengals Beat Podcast: 1-1

This week on the Bengals Beat Podcast, Enquirer beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski break down the issues with the offense coming off a 24-16 defeat at Pittsburgh. They delve into the running game, personnel decisions, the return reality of Tyler Eifert and take on all your officiating complaints.

Bengals fall to 9th, Steelers climb to No. 1 in USA TODAY Power Rankings

The 1-1 Cincinnati Bengals are now the ninth-best team in the NFL, according to USA TODAY Sports' latest Power Rankings, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are the best following their 24-16 defeat of the Bengals on Sunday in Pittsburgh. A week ago, the Bengals were eighth and the Steelers were second.

AFC North Bytes

Ravens, other teams try to exploit the new kickoff rule in a way the NFL didn't intend

A new NFL rule meant to decrease the number of kickoffs that are returned has done just the opposite. The Ravens are covering more kickoffs and kicking fewer touchbacks, and that has little to do with Justin Tucker's leg power.

Browns cut defensive lineman John Hughes

The Browns cut veteran defensive lineman John Hughes as part of a series of roster moves announced Tuesday. Hughes played in 53 games, starting 10, since being drafted in the third round in 2012. He was a healthy scratch last week and seemed to fall out of the team’s plans with the emergence of rookie defensive end Carl Nassib and with Hughes’ extended absence for personal reasons during training camp.

Steelers-Eagles leads NFL Week 3 schedule; NFL mailbag

A matchup of unbeaten teams, and two similarly physical passers, headlines the Week 3 slate. Here are four reasons that Steelers-Eagles will be compelling theater on Sunday in Philadelphia. Plus reader email

Random Bytes

Charles James denies Andy Reid’s flopping allegation

Houston Texans defensive back Charles James denies that he flopped to get a flag on Tyreek Hill’s 105-yard kickoff return in Sunday’s victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid implied that James flopped on the play when Steven Nelson was called for a holding penalty on the return.

Brandon Marshall of Denver Broncos where ire is for unarmed man shot by police

Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall said he is taken aback by the subdued reaction to the fatal shooting of an unarmed African-American man by Tulsa, Oklahoma, police compared to the outrage over NFL players' demonstrations during the national anthem.

Jimmy Garoppolo Injury: Updates on Patriots QB's Shoulder and Return

New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was taken to the hospital after he suffered a shoulder injury in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins following a hit by Kiko Alonso. Jacoby Brissett replaced Garoppolo, whose official playing status against the Houston Texans in Week 3 has yet to be announced.

Jerry Rice Says He Supports Colin Kaepernick's Protests After Initial Criticism

After initially questioning San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to protest during the national anthem, legendary Niners wide receiver Jerry Rice displayed a change of heart on Tuesday. As seen in the following tweet, the Hall of Fame wideout expressed support for the message Kaepernick is attempting to spread

NFL Power Rankings: Chris Simms' Rankings Heading into Week 3

Airplane Wi-Fi, you're the best. I put in a football-watching cram session on my flight back from Ravens-Browns. By the time I was wheels down, I was caught up on all the early Week 2 action I missed.