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Bengals Bytes (10/13): Changes making a difference

The Bengals don’t usually make coaching changes during the season, but it is paying off for them. Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension block gets overturned by courts.

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

TDBH: Bengals defuse Simms’ 513-yard explosion to beat Giants.
Don’t study today’s stat sheet as the 1-4 Bengals try to stave off oblivion against Giants head coach Bill Parcells’ emerging NFC East power. Only gaze at the improbable Riverfront Stadium scoreboard that says Bengals, 35-30, even though Giants quarterback Phil Simms throws for 513 yards and the Bengals get outgained by 271 yards after generating all of minus-three yards in the second half. “Statistics don’t mean anything,” says Bengals head coach Sam Wyche. “Big plays and turnovers decide ballgames.” The Bengals get them in droves. Linebacker Ron Simpkins strips running back George Adams at the Bengals 1 to prevent one touchdown.

Fantasy Forecast: Week 6
What more could go wrong for fantasy owners, who are now without Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall at WR, Tyler Eifert is headed for back surgery, thus ending his season, and it appears Ty Montgomery may have lost his starting RB job to rookie Aaron Jones after he put up 174 yards and 2 touchdowns through 2 games. Injuries are always a factor in professional sports, but this NFL season has seen more season-ending, and fantasy roster changing, injuries than I can ever remember.

Top 50 Moments: Bengals Trade for James Brooks
Nearly 20 years after the Orioles stole Frank Robinson from Cincinnati in one of sports' most lopsided trades, the Bengals get one back for the Queen City on May 29, 1984 when they deal leading rusher Pete Johnson to San Diego for a little used and just plain little running back named James Brooks. Johnson, the 270-pound (at times) bruiser from Ohio State, had led the team in rushing during all seven of his years in Cincy and his 1,077-yard, 16-touchdown season had been a bedrock of the 1981 AFC title run. Brooks, on the other hand, is supposed to be too small at 5-9, 195 pounds and too much of a question mark with just 1,471 yards on 223 carries in his first three seasons.

Bengals put Eifert on IR
The Bengals put tight end Tyler Eifert on injured reserve Thursday after he underwent surgery to repair a disc in his back and he's not expected to return this season. He's now finished three of his five NFL seasons on injured reserve and in the two years he didn’t he could only play three snaps in the 2013 Wild Card Game with a shoulder injury and he tore ankle ligaments in the fourth quarter of the 2015 Pro Bowl.

D-line as in deja vu
Déjà vu is running through the Bengals defense like the Double A Gap Blitz they brought to the NFL a few years back. Start with mirror image third-round picks eight years apart in taciturn right ends lean on words and long on talent and Michael Johnson and Jordan Willis are at the heart of the nostalgia craze up front.

With his season over, is this the end for Tyler Eifert in Cincinnati?
Tight end Tyler Eifert has decided to have season-ending back surgery, which means we might have seen the last of him in a Cincinnati Bengals uniform. If that's the case, one of the last plays fans will remember from Eifert's five-year stay in Cincinnati will be a touchdown pass against the Texans that was called back because Eifert stepped out of bounds before coming back to make the catch.

Walkthru: Bengals are not trading Jeremy Hill
It’s the bye week – so let’s hear from you. But first, let's try to put some stuff to bed here on a topic that Bengals fans just can’t seem to wrap their heads around: the team isn’t looking to trade Jeremy Hill. (For your reference, we did this with AJ McCarron and Colin Kaepernick, too.)

Bengals’ out-of-character coaching change makes a difference
The Bengals resist making big changes during a season. They’ve done it only a handful of times throughout their 50-season history. By going against their stripes, they may have saved this season. After two home games without a touchdown, Cincinnati fired offensive coordinator Ken Zampese, departing from their policy of showing loyalty to coaches during difficult times.

From The Vault: 1987 NFL strike left Bengals in the dust
It was an NFL season like no other. Thirty years ago, a players strike after the second game touched down like a tornado, snatching Boomer Esiason, Anthony Munoz, Cris Collinsworth and others out of the huddle and dropping them far from where they belonged - on a picket line outside the Bengals’ practice facility.

Tyler Kroft deserves a bigger role in Bengals' offense
With Tyler Eifert lost to the injury list, it has given multiple opportunities for other players like Tyler Kroft to step up and prove their worth. With Eifert sidelined for the rest of the season, Kroft has already made the most of his opportunity.

AFC North Bytes

Steelers say Chiefs will see James Harrison on Sunday
The Steelers have left linebacker James Harrison on the inactive list the last two weeks, but it sounds like he’ll be in uniform this weekend. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler didn’t outline a role that Harrison, who has played seven snaps all year after the team called him a “relief pitcher” for starters T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree, but did say that the Chiefs should be ready for him.

Joe Thomas on Myles Garrett: 'I've never seen a player that plays like he does'
Joe Thomas has faced the best pass-rushers in the NFL for the past 11 years and watched dozens more growing up as a fan, and he's never seen a physical freak the likes of Myles Garrett. "Since I've been watching the NFL in the '90s, I've never seen a player that plays like he does," Thomas said Thursday. "The things he can do, and you saw it, he hardly played at all, he was playing on one leg and he had two sacks against a team that didn't really hang onto the ball and throw down the field all that often.

Ravens, Suggs poised to test Bears rookie QB Trubisky
Plenty of crowd noise, a variety of blitzes and a close-up encounter with Terrell Suggs. That's what Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky can expect Sunday when he makes his first NFL road start against the Baltimore Ravens.

Random Bytes

Roger Goodell Has a Secret Defender on Twitter: His Wife
When National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is under attack, as he so often is these days, @forargument is there to fight back. Wait, who? The Twitter account, under the name “Jones smith,” has no followers, no profile picture and has been virtually dormant for long periods since its creation in 2014.

NFL - Ranking the top projected free agents for 2018
You know how it goes: The best NFL players almost never make it to free agency. It's rare for even an average quarterback to get there. We could see exceptions to both rules in the spring of 2018, based on a relatively monster list of players whose contracts are set to expire. Some of them could sign contract extensions during the season or before the market opens with their current teams. Others might receive the franchise tag, and a few could retire.

NFL, Cowboys, Patriots, Raiders, Steelers Donate to Mexico City Earthquake Aid
The NFL Foundation and four NFL teams are providing a donation of $250,000 to aid earthquake relief efforts in Mexico City. Per an official release from the NFL, the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders and the NFL Foundation donated $200,000 to Fundacion Banorte, and the Dallas Cowboys gave $50,000 to the Salvation Army to help its relief efforts in Mexico City.

Ezekiel Elliott Suspension Block Overturned by Judge
The stay of the temporary injunction previously given to Ezekiel Elliott was granted Thursday, meaning the Dallas Cowboys running back will have to serve his suspension while the case is ruled upon. Per Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram, the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against Elliott by throwing out his preliminary injunction.

Carson Wentz's 3 TDs Lead Eagles to 28-23 Win over Cam Newton, Panthers
The Philadelphia Eagles earned a statement win Thursday night when they defeated the Carolina Panthers 28-23 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte to improve to 5-1. The Panthers, meanwhile, dropped to 4-2 as they struggled to find offensive balance against Philadelphia's fast and physical defensive front. Quarterback Cam Newton completed 28 of 52 passes for 239 yards, two total touchdowns and three interceptions, while all Panthers running backs combined to rush 13 times for one yard.