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Bengals Bytes (10/20): Hitting the road

The Bengals will be kicking off a stretch with four of their next five games on the road. The Raiders stun the Chiefs with an improbable comeback.

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

Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals on similar defensive rises
The results are different. Many players are different. But as the film of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense rolls inside the meeting rooms at Paul Brown Stadium this week, make no mistake, this group ranked third in yards and fourth in points allowed hasn’t changed. This is prototypical Steelers defense. The reputation built over generations of leading the league has returned. As for what that looks like, just take tape of recent relatively subpar seasons and hit x16 on the DVR.

Numbers game: Bengals' historic defensive pace vs. prolific Big Ben
46-42 _ Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis’ record in AFC North games. 51-17 _ Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger’s record in AFC North games. 21-7 _ Roethlisberger’s record vs. Lewis .602 _. Bengals QB Andy Dalton’s winning percentage, sixth best among active QBs with minimum 50 starts

TDBH: Bengals win instant replay on Nugent at the gun
The Bengals overcome cornerback Leon Hall’s second season-ending torn Achilles in three years, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford’s 357 passing yards, and Detroit’s all-out run defense to post their second straight 27-24 win on the afternoon’s last play to silence a hostile stadium and put the Bengals among the AFC leaders at 5-2. Last week it is Mike Nugent’s 43-yard field goal in overtime in Buffalo. Today it is Nugent’s 54-yarder on the last play of regulation at Ford Field, tying Doug Pelfrey’s longest winning field goal in franchise history.

Green's frosty grace cools emotional matchup
Sunday’s game (4:25 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) in Pittsburgh featuring two potential Hall-of-Fame receivers in the Bengals’ A.J. Green and the Steelers’ Antonio Brown is a veritable statistical soiree for the decimal deities at the Elias Sports Bureau. Green, the NFL’s second-leading receiver with 504 yards in five games, faces the Steelers’ No. 1 ranked pass defense. Brown, the league leader with 700 yards in six games, opposes the Bengals’ No. 2 pass defense. And to spice it up, the Steelers now have Green’s arch nemesis in Joe Haden.

Top 50 Moments: Bengals Clinch AFC Central Title in Overtime
Jim Breech calls it "Divine Providence," and the 52,157 who witness it on the riverfront can only agree after a 20-17 numbing overtime victory over the Super Bowl champion Redskins fittingly ends this Ripley's Believe It Or Not 1988 regular season with more improbable drama and home-field advantage. This is the season of Ickey, Boomer, Fulcher and the Jim Borgman cartoon of the huge Bengal tiger with its tail wrapped around Riverfront Stadium hissing, "Next."

Bengals' A.J. Green on Steelers' Mike Mitchell: 'I don't think he's a
If anybody was likely to have an opinion about Steelers safety Mike Mitchell, it would be Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green. Mitchell knocked Green out of a game in 2014. The jarring hit gave Green a concussion that kept him out of the 2014 AFC wild-card game. Accusations of dirty play have flown back and forth between both teams over the years.

Bengals won't be inviting Steelers for Thanksgiving any time soon
Safety George Iloka smiled when asked if the Bengals-Steelers rivalry was akin to two siblings that fight. Not quite, he said, but close. "Aw, they're not brothers. It's that cousin that your parents invite over that you're not really cool with, that's what that is. They're there for Thanksgiving dinner and you're like, 'Man, why did you all invite them this year?' That type of thing," Iloka said.

Bengals’ challenge: 4 road games in 5 weeks, Steelers up 1st
The Bengals have a chance to move into contention in the AFC North, but it’s a long road back. And it starts in Pittsburgh. Cincinnati (2-3) plays four road games in the next five weeks, a stretch that will either set them up for a run at the playoffs or leave them so far behind that they’d need a Steelers collapse to give them a chance.

Prosecutor: Ohio man defrauded players from 5 NFL teams, including Bengals
Prosecutors allege he claimed to have contacts with Nike and agreed to deliver merchandise to the players for charity events. The players, who were not named in the indictment, allegedly paid Richardson a total of $25,000. Players from the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals reportedly paid Richardson to provide backpacks for charity events but the merchandise was never delivered.

AFC North Bytes

Myles Garrett has more in his bag of tricks and 'hopefully I can throw a curveball' at Titans LT Taylor Lewan
Have you liked what you've seen so far from Myles Garrett, who leads the Browns with three sacks in his first two games? Well, there's plenty more where that came from. "I feel like you can expect better," said Garrett Thursday as he prepared to face the Titans and QB Marcus Mariota. "I'm just going to keep on progressing throughout the season, so hopefully, my snaps improve as well."

Mike Mitchell Reportedly Fined $48,000 for Hit on Alex Smith
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Mike Mitchell is reportedly appealing a $48,620 fine from the NFL for a late hit on Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith during Sunday's road game at Arrowhead Stadium. On Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN passed along word of the punishment and noted Mitchell, who received a 15-yard penalty on the play, has been fined twice before for unnecessary roughness.

Random Bytes

Ready, Set, Gone! The N.F.L.’s Disappearing Huddle.
For more than a century, the huddle has been one of the most defining fixtures of American football. But in today’s N.F.L., it’s slowly disappearing.

Chris Simms' Week 7 NFL Picks
When NFL teams go to the Super Bowl, everyone expects them to be awesome again the next season. This is especially true when a team wins the big game. I can tell you, though, that this isn't always the case. I was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003, just months after they won the Super Bowl. Fans, media members and eventually the players around me believed we were destined to go back. I heard talk about the Buccaneers having the greatest defense of all time and chatter about a possible undefeated season.

Raiders Stun Chiefs on Last-Second Michael Crabtree TD; Marshawn Lynch Ejected
Capping off a wild sequence to end the game, Michael Crabtree caught a two-yard touchdown pass on an untimed down to give the Oakland Raiders a 31-30 home victory Thursday night at Oakland Coliseum. It's the first time the Raiders have beaten the Kansas City Chiefs since Nov. 20, 2014, a streak that lasted five games.