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Bengals Bytes (10/3): Just in time

Vontaze Burfict couldn’t have returned at a better time. The Bengals are finally playing their young guys. The Chiefs broke plenty of gamblers’ hearts last night.

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Dalton picked apart the Browns on Sunday | NFL Team and Player News | Pro Football Focus
After a poor start to the season, Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton has turned it on in recent weeks, peaking Sunday against the Browns. Dalton finished Sunday's game with an overall grade of 84.5, the highest among all Bengals players, and the third-highest among quarterbacks so far in Week 4 (subject to change on review). After a slow start to the season, Dalton now ranks ninth among 32 qualifying quarterbacks with an overall grade of 79.2.

Buffalo Bills lose two starters to injury against Atlanta Falcons - Buffalo Rumblings
Before Week four, the Buffalo Bills had been extremely fortunate when it came to injuries. Things changed fast in the dramatic upset win over the Atlanta Falcons. Many starters and some key contributors will be on the shelf for a while.

NHL player Brendan Gallagher's beloved Bengals
MONTREAL - On any given Sunday during the NFL season, Brendan Gallagher is paying extra close attention to his favorite team - the Cincinnati Bengals.

Defense stalking historic numbers
The Bengals offense may still be searching for an identity, but their man-of-many-faces defense has it on pace for one of the best seasons in franchise history. And after dismantling yet another Browns rookie quarterback on Sunday with a revolving door of depth, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has steered his group to the top five of the NFL’s 12 major defensive categories. Slot cornerback Darqueze Dennard may have supplied the motto on Monday.

TDBH: Blake completes Cinderella rise to become QB of future
While the nation monitors the O.J. Simpson verdict this afternoon, the Bengals make their decision on quarterback Jeff Blake The call to arms as their quarterback of the future with a four-year extension worth more than $14 million completes his whirlwind trip from waiver wire pickup to a No. 1 quarterback in just 14 starts dating back to last year’s near upset of the Super Bowl champion Cowboys in his first NFL start. The Bengals have just won five of those games, but they won only eight of the previous 55.

Lewis News Conference Transcript 10/2
After watching the tape and going through everything with everyone, the thing that the thing I was pleased with defensively yesterday was the tackling. (There were) a lot of good, open-field plays. We continued to take progressive steps with coverage and how we fit together. Both up-front and coverage was really good yesterday, and we need to continue forward on those steps. Offensively, we did a good job with continuing to do things and taking what is given (by the defense). The quarterback was being patient with things and delivering the ball where he needed to – really trying not to force things. (We were) doing different things that gave us positive plays, and that was good.

Vontaze Burfict's return timely for Bengals with points hard to find
When Vontaze Burfict returned after his three-game suspension last season, the expectation was that he would immediately lift the run defense to another level. Unfortunately for the Bengals, they ran into Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott -- a red-hot rookie who ran all over Cincinnati for 134 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-14 loss to the Cowboys.

DeShone Kizer defends Cleveland Browns after Pacman Jones comments
Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer reacted pointedly Monday to Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones saying that Cleveland coach Hue Jackson does not have a roster that can win. "[Jones] is not in our locker room," Kizer said the day after an embarrassing loss dropped the Browns to 0-4 this season and 1-19 since Jackson was hired. "He doesn't know what the talent looks like. He doesn't know the grind that we put in. He doesn't know the camaraderie that we have. I look forward to hearing his comments once we do figure this out."

Bengals beginning to embrace youth movement on defense
The Cincinnati Bengals have sometimes been known for their reluctance to give their youngest players extended playing time, particularly on defense. But a team that once gave their defensive rookies zero snaps during the 2011 season is seeing things a bit differently these days. After losing their first three games, they couldn't exactly afford to be stubborn if they wanted to turn things around.

8 things we learned about the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills' Week 5 opponent
The Bengals' 31-7 win over the Browns was Cincinnati's first victory of the season. Although they're 1-3, Cincinnati has been in every game this season besides their Week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Don't let their record fool you. The Bengals will be a good test for Buffalo.

Dalton back in form as new Bengals coordinator calls plays
Andy Dalton completed 16 throws in a row, had a hand in four touchdowns, and finished with the second-highest passer rating of his career. The Bengals’ decision to change offensive coordinators has made a huge difference in the quarterback.

Rotation moves to Bengals secondary
The Cincinnati Bengals spend valuable draft capital and salary cap room on its secondary, and always have in the Marvin Lewis era. The club isn’t afraid to stack top draft picks in that room and then spend the money to keep them all there. Such a logjam always creates a bit of tension and pining for playing time – but over the years the end result has led to multiple high-round picks barely seeing the field.

AFC North Bytes

Ranking toughest ways Browns, Chargers, 49ers, Giants stayed winless
The NFL has four teams left with bagels in the win column. We ranked the most painful way they stayed winless in Week 4. The Browns get the least of my sympathy. They got straight mollywhopped by the previously winless Bengals, which for me is much less painful than blowing a huge lead or losing a close game.

Have Patience: Le'Veon Bell Says His RB Revolution Is Still Coming
If you're a Steelers fan, maybe you groaned and grumbled and threw your Terrible Towel across the room when Le'Veon Bell turned his contract offer down. No penny-pinching season ticket holder wants to hear about a player, their player, saying "no" to a deal that would have made him the highest-paid at his position in the NFL.

Random Bytes

Chiefs' Last-Second Fumble-Recovery TD Hits Backdoor Cover in Win vs. Redskins
The box score of the Kansas City Chiefs' 29-20 victory over Washington indicates a typical two-score win on a Monday night. It was anything but that. Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker drilled a go-ahead 43-yard field goal with four seconds remaining, giving Washington one final chance. It fumbled in desperation mode, clearing the way for Justin Houston to scoop up the ball and run it in for a touchdown

Alex Smith, Chiefs Beat Kirk Cousins, Redskins on Last-Second Harrison Butker FG
It took late dramatics and a game-winning 43-yard field goal from Harrison Butker, but the Kansas City Chiefs remained the only undefeated team in the NFL with a 29-20 Monday victory over Washington at Arrowhead Stadium. Just for good measure, Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston recovered a fumble on Washington's desperation play after the field goal and returned it for a touchdown.

NFL Power Rankings: Where Does Every Team Stand Heading into Week 5?
I was fortunate enough to be around some tremendous coaches during my time as an NFL player and scout. One thing I learned from guys like Jon Gruden and Bill Belichick is the most successful teams are the ones that don't consistently beat themselves.

It’s EJ Manuel time for Oakland Raiders
Here we go. The Raiders signed EJ Manuel this offseason to infuse some veteran talent at the backup quarterback spot. The former first round pick came in and won the primary backup job from incumbent Connor Cook and four weeks into the season, Derek Carr is down with a fracture in his back, and Manuel is now called upon to lead the Raiders offense.