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Bengals Bytes (11/27): Ready for Steelers?

The Bengals are only a game out of the playoff race, but they will have to earn their way into the postseason with the Steelers next week. Joe Mixon breaks out against the Browns.

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NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

5 things to know about Cincinnati Bengals game vs Browns
The Cincinnati Bengals scored on their first five possession Sunday and rushed for a season-high 152 yards to continue their domination of the Cleveland Browns. Rookie running back Joe Mixon ran for a career-high 114 yards, including a game-sealing 11-yard touchdown, and Andy Dalton threw a pair of scoring passes to lift the Bengals to a 30-16 victory before a sparse crowd of 51,710 at Paul Brown Stadium.

Adam Jones welcomes 'Lil Pacman,' celebrates birth with Cincinnati Bengals teammates
A penalty calling back his punt return for a touchdown can't take away the memorable weekend Cincinnati Bengals defensive back/kick returner Adam Jones enjoyed after welcoming a son, Adam Jr. - already nicknamed "Lil Pacman" - on Saturday night, then celebrating his 55-yard return (before it was called back) with teammates in the end zone by appropriately birthing a football during the Bengals' 30-16 win Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

Mixon runs for 114, Bengals beat winless Browns 30-16
Joe Mixon got frustrated as the subpar games piled up. At times, the rookie running back who picked up 100 yards so easily at Oklahoma couldn’t even get to the line of scrimmage. Against the Browns, he got his long-awaited breakout game.

Doc: Are the Bengals ready for the Steelers?
After thrashing the Cleveland Browns Sunday, the Bengals return to playing actual National Football League games next Monday night at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers. And that’s the last cheap Cleveland joke you’re getting today. The Browns are Homecoming, the Browns are the last kid picked for kickball. They are the closest thing the league has to spring break. The Bengals beat the Browns. Everyone beats the Browns

TDBH: Bengals bowl over Bills in AFC title preview
The Bengals roll up their sleeves today at crazed Riverfront Stadium and smash through to the elite when they plow the Bills’ feared No. 1 defense to the tune of 232 rushing yards in a 35-21 victory that drops Buffalo to 11-2 and prevents them from clinching home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. As the sign hanging high in the upper deck suggests (“Boomer Bombs Buffalo, Part 1), the fans expect the 10-3 Bengals to meet the Bills again in the playoffs and that is most likely in the AFC title game.

Quick hits: Just Ced Mixon; A.J. awes; No trade talk; Big call; Jax big block; Lawson eyes records
Rookie running back Joe Mixon, on five yards per carry against the NFL’s stingiest per rush defense, became the seventh different Bengals running back on Sunday to enjoy a 100-yard day against Cleveland in the 18 seasons since the Browns came back into the league. But with 114 yards on 23 carries in the 30-16 victory at Paul Brown Stadium, he’s the first one to have his first come in the “Battle of Ohio.” And he admitted there is a sense of relief that the 100-yard game has been reached.

Browns at Bengals Postgame Quotes
I think overall there were some positive things today, particularly (on offense). The only thing we failed to do a couple of times was put the ball in the end zone, and took field goals (instead). But the plan, I think the guys did a nice job of executing it. Defensively, we had some plays that will be interesting to see where our breakdowns where, particularly in the running game a couple of times. So, we’ve got some things to do better ... We’ve got some things to look forward to getting better at, (but) it was a good job by the guys today and a great drive by the offense there in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Mixon's the one with 100 (114) as Bengals run away
The Bengals scored the first five times they had the ball Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium and kept the winless Browns at bay with their best rushing effort of the season in a 30-16 victory that kept their post-season hopes alive at 5-6 with the AFC North-leading Steelers invading next week. Rookie running back Joe Mixon enjoyed the first 100-yard day of his career with 114 yards on 23 carries and he followed fullback Ryan Hewitt and left tackle Cerdic Ogbuehi on a pitch left for an 11-yard touchdown run with 2:57 left that provided Dave Lapham’s coffin nails. On the previous snap Mixon rumbled up the middle behind a combo block from his linemen for 14 yards, but that only came after Browns safety Jabrill Peppers was called for hitting defenseless wide receiver Josh Malone on a go route down the left sideline on third-and-five from the Browns 40.

Pre-game hits: Dennard OK to go; Ross inactive; Jackson greets McCarron
Cornerback Darqueze Dennard passed muster before Sunday’s game against the Browns but rookie wide receiver John Ross didn’t as Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis made out his inactive sheet. Dennard, who tweaked his knee early in last week’s win in Denver, missed practice Wednesday and Thursday and was limited Friday but apparently made enough progress in the last 48 hours to get the call. That put cornerback KeiVarae Russell on the bench despite last week’s blocked field goal at the end of the half.

Cincinnati Bengals rookie Joe Mixon works well with offensive line
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon has a promise of dinner for his offensive linemen on the table, and after his big game on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, he’s not backing down from it. “They can get whatever they want,” Mixon said happily after the Bengals beat the Browns 30-16. A large part of that win was due to Mixon, who rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 51 yards.

Bengals rookie Joe Mixon arrives with breakout effort in win over Browns
Mixon had his best game of his short career against the Browns on Sunday, running for a career-high 114 rushing yards and catching three passes for 51 yards in the Bengals' 30-16 win. With about three minutes left in the game, and the Bengals leading by a touchdown, Mixon sealed the game with an 11-yard score. He had 40 yards on that drive alone, almost totaling the Bengals' entire rushing total from the week before.

AFC North Bytes

Final act? Terrell Suggs understands he could be playing last games for Ravens
After the Baltimore Ravens notched their third shutout of the season last week, linebacker Terrell Suggs took time to speak about his reverence for suiting up for the team, explaining how it's now part of his DNA. He knows what it means to play with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. He knows what it takes to sack Ben Roethlisberger twice in a playoff game with one healthy shoulder. And he knows how to maintain intensity and passion for the game in his 15th season, leading the NFL's No. 6 defense in sacks.

Antonio Brown's Brilliance Enough to Buoy Steelers When All Else Fails
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has a way of making sure everyone watching him stays in a constant state of disbelief. It feels like no one in the NFL makes us go from "he did that?" to "he did that!" faster.

Hue Jackson’s coaching errors on full display in loss to Bengals
Cleveland is now 0-11 in 2017. Following last year’s 1-15 finish, that makes coach Hue Jackson 1-26 with the Browns. There are plenty of reasons, almost all of them valid, why the team has failed to win games. Jackson himself is one of the more prominent ones. That was especially true in Sunday’s 30-16 loss to his old employer, the Cincinnati Bengals.

Random Bytes

Michael Crabtree, Aqib Talib, Gabe Jackson Ejected After Broncos, Raiders Brawl
Three players were ejected during the first quarter of Sunday's game between the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Michael Gehlken, Raiders offensive guard Gabe Jackson was tossed after making contact with a referee. Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib were dismissed after getting into a physical altercation.

Monday Morning Digest: Patriots, Eagles Pull Away from Contenders and Pretenders
Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means the NFL playoff home stretch is here. And this may be the wildest postseason race in years, with lots of deserving teams vying for spots in the NFC while lots of undeserving teams audition for the right to be Patriots fodder in the AFC.

NFL Team Grades for Week 12
Now things are really getting interesting. With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, we’re now 12 weeks into the 2017 NFL season. Playoff races are taking shape. Some of those races are all but over. Compliments of big wins by the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles, it's all over but the crying in the NFC East and NFC North.