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Bengals Bytes (10/6): Crucial

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The Bengals game against the Bills could have huge implications for this season and beyond. The Dolphins are the laughingstock of the NFL. Cincinnati has one of the best punt return units.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

TDBH: Zim-soon washes away Brady, Patriots
Mother Nature, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, and a Super Bowl scout team up today to stop that naturally-occurring phenomenon known as quarterback Tom Brady when the Patriots fail to score a touchdown for the first time since the second week of the 2009 season in Cincinnati's 13-6 drip-dry victory at sold-out Paul Brown Stadium. It's the first time the Bengals have been 3-0 at home under head coach Marvin Lewis and all three have come against Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. Ben Roethlisberger. Aaron Rodgers.

Fantasy Forecast: Week 5
Week 5 of the NFL season is going to hurt most owners more this year than in years past due to the shear amount of injuries to fantasy starters we’ve seen this season. Ty Montgomery and Davante Adams went down last week, further testing fantasy owners’ knowledge and skill. The waiver wire is where many will find their flex and bye week starters, so I am going to let you know who the contenders are, and the pretenders are so you don’t make the wrong choices.

Top 50 Moments: Marvin Lewis Hired as Bengals Head Coach
As Marvin Lewis steps to the microphones on the night of Jan. 14, 2003 in a hotel in Point Clear, Ala., as the Bengals' ninth head coach, the point is quite clear. With the franchise in the depths of its worst season ever and a five-year run of just 19 wins, the Bengals have broken nearly all their traditions in turning to the charismatic, intense, and highly-regarded defensive mind.

Slants and screens: No culture war on special teams; McCarron, CBs return full
This is one of the reasons why the 1-3 Bengals didn’t call it off at 0-3, or sleep-walk last week in Cleveland, or try to glide into next week’s bye Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) when they play the 3-1 Bills in one of those fork-in-the-road games at Paul Brown Stadium. Just look at some of the special teams plays against the Browns. How many NFL teams have veterans doing this?

Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd facing drug-related charges
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd said Thursday he was not at the scene of a July 12 car crash that has led to him facing two drug-related charges. Court records in Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) show that Boyd was charged with possession of THC and not being registered to have a controlled substance after Jefferson Hills police searched a car registered to him after the crash.

The Cincinnati Bengals clearly miss Andrew Whitworth during 1-3 start
The Cincinnati Bengals' coaching staff and front office put on their best face in the offseason regarding the offensive line, professing their high hopes for the unit despite losing Pro Bowlers Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler. Through one quarter of the season, it's safe to say the new line hasn't exactly produced the results they wanted.

Buffalo Bills Week 5 preview: five questions on the Cincinnati Bengals with Cincy Jungle
The Buffalo Bills will be in southern Ohio on Sunday to take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 5 of the 2017 NFL season. It’s the third straight season (and the sixth time since 2010) that the Bills and Bengals are playing, as the Bills ended Cincy’s three-game winning streak in the series with a 16-12 victory in Week 11 last season. We had the opportunity to glen some insight from Scott Schulze of Cincy Jungle, our Bengals site on SB Nation. He touched on big changes on both sides of the ball before offering a final score prediction that I’d be fine with.

The Daily News | Behind enemy lines: Bills- Bengals Q&A with Bengals beat reporter Jay Morrison
The Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals see each other just about as much as the Bills see the Pats, Jets, or Dolphins. Or so it seems, at least. Six of the last eight years have featured a meeting between the two, which may lead one to think they know the Bengals inside and out.

Bengals’ punt return among best in NFL
Alex Erickson smiled. “Only if.” You can’t pick up a flag and say it doesn’t count, or add an extra half inch to the playing surface to keep your cleat in bounds … but the Cincinnati Bengals’ punt return team has had three “only if” moments through four weeks where punt returns of 27 and 44 yards were nullified due to penalties and Erickson barely stepped out of bounds on what looked like another long return against Green Bay.

Bills at Bengals: Preview, prediction, odds and pick
If Week 4 is any indication for this game, the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals are ready to put on a show on Sunday in what could become one of the marquee matchups to watch in the Week 5 lineup. Somehow, someway, the Bills are the AFC East leader through the first quarter of the 2017 season, with two big wins over the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons over the last two weeks to put on their resume.

Bengals' anemic running attack needs to perk up fast
When the Bengals drafted Joe Mixon, there were murmurs, moans and grumbles. But, the majority of fans were ready to experience the rejuvenation of a long-lost staple of the offense. There was a strong desire to see the running attack return to glory in Cincinnati. Four weeks into the season, the ground game is still anemic and in need of a quick spark. That jolt needs to happen against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Doc: Bengals vs. Bills crucial for team, maybe Marvin Lewis
They’ve (barely) survived the fetal-position portion of the schedule, and this week the proceedings get dire. That’s what happens when you have playoff notions and you start 0-3. The more I look at Men-Bills, the more it appears a crucial, swing game. The NFL loves to give hope to the seemingly downtrodden. (Except in the case of the Browns, whom the NFL just flogs with abandon.)

AFC North Bytes

Browns will have Myles Garrett on a “pitch count”
The long-awaited debut of first overall pick Myles Garrett is expected to come against the Jets this Sunday, but he won’t be jumping right into a full role at defensive end. Garrett has been practicing since last week and has made enough progress in his recovery from an ankle injury that all signs point to him being on the field this weekend. On Thursday, Browns coach Hue Jackson said that the rookie’s playing time will be closely monitored.

Scouting report for Ravens' road game Sunday at Oakland Raiders
Quarterback Joe Flacco is facing more criticism than perhaps ever before after consecutive dreadful performances by him and the offense. Flacco has led his team to points on just three of his past 25 drives. He has one touchdown pass while throwing four interceptions and getting sacked six times over the past two weeks. A perceived breakout candidate this year, Breshad Perriman has two catches for 11 yards in four games.

Random Bytes

Jay Cutler Is Who He Always Was, and That Has NFL Rivals Laughing at Him
Around the NFL, people are laughing at the Dolphins. Flat. Out. Laughing.The source of the amusement: Jay Cutler. Cutler has been fairly awful this season, and many around the league can't help but chuckle because they could see it coming. It's not all his fault, these sources say. There are offensive line problems, and Cutler is still rusty after coming out of retirement late in the preseason. Plus, the Dolphins defense has been borderline putrid.

Despite TNF Victory, New England Patriots Still Far from Super Bowl Contenders
Tom Brady is a modern marvel, but he can't do everything for the New England Patriots. Sometimes it feels like the 40-year-old quarterback can do anything, but even if Brady plays at a high level, the current rendition of Bill Belichick's squad isn't capable of another Super Bowl run.

Anquan Boldin Goes to Washington
A cousin killed by police. A mission to Capitol Hill—but not the White House. A nation boiling over, before the anthem protests went haywire. This is why an NFL star quit football: to fight for something more than symbolism.