clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bengals Bytes (11/20): Getting motivation from the 2016 Packers

The Packers started their season 4-6 in 2016, but went on a six-game winning streak to make the playoffs. Vontaze Burfict’s huge game helps lifts the Bengals past the Broncos.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Cincinnati Bengals vs Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Vontaze Burfict's defensive intensity spurs Bengals to a potential season-shifting win in Denver
Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict and Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler spent three seasons as teammates at Arizona State from 2009-11, and in the time since have experienced remarkably different professional trajectories. Osweiler, once projected as a franchise quarterback, parlayed a short stint as a fill-in during the Broncos’ Super Bowl run into a $72 million contract with the Texans before being bounced to Cleveland and then back to Denver.

Cincinnati Bengals inactive list for Denver Broncos game
The Cincinnati Bengals will be thin at cornerback today at Denver with both Adam Jones and William Jackson inactive. Jones was ruled out Friday with a concussion, but Jackson, who was listed as questionable, was hopeful of playing through a toe injury.

Analysis: Cincinnati Bengals do just enough to beat Denver Broncos, 20-17
The Cincinnati Bengals went into Sports Authority Field at Mile High and, against the Denver Broncos’ fourth-ranked defense, did things offensively they haven’t done against anyone other than Cleveland. And defensively, they did what they haven’t done in two weeks by coming up with big, game-winning plays in a 20-17 victory over the Broncos on Sunday.

CB Dre Kirkpatrick of Cincinnati Bengals returns interception 100 yards without scoring TD
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick smiled when asked what was going through his mind when he picked off Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler in the end zone on Sunday and almost ran it back the length of the field. "Breathe!" he said. "Breathe!"

Bengals overcome offensive struggles to stay alive
There's still life in the Cincinnati Bengals this season. The Bengals defeated the Broncos 20-17 on Sunday, snapping a two-game losing streak and returning home after a three-game road trip. With their victory, they still remain mathematically in the AFC wild-card picture, although they are almost to the point where they would need to win out to keep themselves there.

Bengals use 2016 Packers as motivation to 'make a run' in muddled AFC
The Cincinnati Bengals' past few weeks have been anything but encouraging. They lost two straight, saw their stars A.J. Green and Vontaze Burfict get ejected in back-to-back weeks and only mustered 148 yards of net offense in a loss to the Jaguars. The Bengals have been in a below-.500 hole all season that seemed even bigger when they dropped to 3-6 after blowing a late lead to the Titans last week. It would have been easy for them to get discouraged. But they've drawn motivation from something unusual -- eyeing the standings around the league.

Bengals hold on to win a Mile High
The Bengals won their first game in Denver since '75 on Sunday and every Bengal alive is going to remember how the exhausted and gritty defense held on for a 20-17 victory as they were out-snapped by 26 plays and on the field for more than 35 minutes. Nursing that 20-17 lead with 3:10 left and the ball on the Broncos 38 after a holding penalty on cornerback Bradley Roby, the Bengals chose to run rookie running back Joe Mixon three straight times with multiple tight ends they lost three yards. Their bid to play field position went by the boards when Kevin Huber’s punt went in the end zone.

Bengals at Broncos Postgame Quotes
Obviously, that was 60 minutes of hard-fought football. With the war of attrition there today on defense, we had a lot of guys in there at the end of the football game that did not get a lot a lot of reps during the week, so that was hard. Field position today—the defense was playing on short fields and did a really good job offensively. We needed it and coming up with touchdown drives. Obviously we had the blocked punt, which hurt us at the beginning of the game, but we came back though.

Quick hits: Bengals get second wind
Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick had a wide smile on his face even though he didn’t finish off his 101-yard interception return for a touchdown in Sunday’s 20-17 victory over the Broncos. It’s the longest interception return in history. “Breathe!” said Kirkpatrick when asked what he was thinking during the cross country dash in the Mile High altitude. “Breathe!”

TDBH: Palmer, Peyton light up The Paul
Before a raucous and drained sell-out crowd of 65,995 for the second biggest Bengals crowd ever at Paul Brown Stadium, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer and Colts quarterback Peyton Manning go yard for yard in one of the most memorable passing festivals ever on the riverfront that ends in Indianapolis’ favor, 45-37, on a Sunday night the losers generate 492 yards and the winners 451. Palmer, getting immaculate protection all day from tackles Levi Jones and Willie Anderson against the NFL's sack leaders, rings up 335 yards, completing 25 of 38 passes and zipping a career-high 189 yards to wide receiver Chad Johnson on eight throws.

Bengals catch breath, Broncos
The Bengals defense, sapped by the Mile High altitude and at the end of an intoxicating four-game stretch they’ve played 119 more snaps than their offensive foes, manned up to empty their bench in a 20-17 victory. “(Playing) in this stuff is hard,” said linebacker Vontaze Burfict after a vintage 2013 Pro Bowl effort. “When you get tired, you can’t catch your breath.”

AFC North Bytes

Ravens inching closer to AFC playoffs, proving they're not just 'mediocre'
John Harbaugh's 100th career NFL head-coaching victory was celebrated by his Ravens players in the Lambeau Field locker room following a 23-0 blanking of the Packers. "Afterwards, I told the guys, 'Now, let’s go get 101, 102, 103 ..." a laughing Harbaugh told Sporting News.

Jason McCourty says Haslams addressed players to help 'figure out a way to win'
Browns cornerback Jason McCourty said Jimmy and Dee Haslam addressed the players Monday so they could try to help right the ship. "We're all just trying to figure out a way to win,'' he said Sunday's 19-7 loss to the Jaguars that dropped the Browns to 0-10. "That was the main thing. We're all in this thing together as one unit -- players, coaches, management, ownership, everybody. We're just trying to figure out a way to win.''

Random Bytes

Monday Morning Digest: The Browns May Go 0-16. Is That a Good Thing?
Carson Wentz-Dak Prescott III did not live up to its Roman numerals in the first half. Prescott threw a pair of interceptions, but the Eagles could not capitalize because Carson Wentz was also off-target. They looked generally out-of-sync on offense and kicker Jake Elliott suffered an early-game injury.

Donald Trump: Marshawn Lynch Should Be Suspended for Sitting During USA Anthem
President Donald Trump is once again using his Twitter account to blast a sports figure, this time calling on the NFL to suspend Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch a day after he sat for the U.S. national anthem but stood for the Mexican version.

Sorting the Sunday Pile Week 11: Saints sure look like NFL's most complete team
The curious thing about the Saints so far this year isn't how they'd been winning, but how they hadn't been winning. Sunday was a nice reminder that the Saints still have a Hall of Fame quarterback they can turn to when the going gets tough. It might be the biggest unsung advantage when analyzing what is shaping up to be a stacked NFC playoff race.