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Bengals Bytes (12/23): How high could the Bengals be drafting?

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The Bengals could get a pretty high draft pick depending on how the rest of the season plays out. Cincinnati also places Nick Vigil on Injured Reserve.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals could get top-5 draft pick by losing out
If the NFL season ended today, the Cincinnati Bengals would own the No. 8 pick in the draft with their 5-9 record. But they could climb into the top five if they lose their two remaining games vs. Detroit and at Baltimore to finish 5-11.

Cincinnati Bengals place linebacker Nick Vigil on injured reserve
The Cincinnati Bengals are in desperate need of healthy bodies to round out their 53-man active roster for Sunday against the Detroit Lions and the club followed up its Wednesday move of placing offensive tackle Andre Smith on injured reserve by placing linebacker Nick Vigil on season-ending IR on Friday. The team signed offensive tackle Kent Perkins to the active roster off the practice squad.

Will slumping Cincinnati consider playing AJ McCarron at QB in final 2 games of 2017? Coach says 'No'
For the past two Sundays, the Cincinnati Bengals have inserted backup quarterback AJ McCarron during the fourth quarter of one-sided losses. With two games remaining in their 2017 NFL season and the Bengals out of the playoff race, might Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis consider giving the former Alabama star expanded playing time? "No, I will not," Lewis answered succinctly when asked that this week.

Detroit Lions vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Scouting report, prediction
The Bengals are locked into their second straight losing season after five consecutive playoff appearances, and though they’ve lost the last two weeks by a combined 67-14, Lewis insisted this week that his players haven’t given up on the season. Lewis could be coaching his final home game for the Bengals after 15 seasons, as he reportedly will explore other options when his contract expires next month.

TDBH: Bengals clock Big Ben to eliminate Steelers, reach playoffs again
Even the Heinz Field clock knows the story. There are 14 seconds left in Sunday's play-in game for the playoffs. Matching the uniform number of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. From the Steelers 46 he needs about a dozen yards to get kicker Josh Brown close enough to try a field goal to break a 10-10 tie. Dalton does more than that. He zips a 21-yard rope on a corner route to wide receiver A.J. Green on time, on rhythm and on the money against the NFL's No. 1 defense for a Wild Card berth on a play that leads Green out of bounds with eight seconds left to set up Brown's 43-yard field goal, and put the AFC North firmly in transition with a 13-10 victory that eliminates the arch-rival Steelers and gives the Green-Dalton Bengals their second straight post-season berth. The namesakes of the Green-Dalton era do exactly what they have to do today and grab the game by the throat at the end as the Bengals win their sixth of the last seven.

Quick hits: Marv won’t call it last PBS game; Vigil to IR
No, Marvin Lewis has no emotions about Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 19) in what is reportedly his last game at Paul Brown Stadium as Bengals head coach. “Could be. Could not be,” said Lewis said after Friday’s walk-through. “I don’t think about it like that. I’ve not thought about it like that.” It will his 123rd game at PBS (70-50-2), his 246th game (123-119-3) overall, 239th in the regular season (123-112-3).

Top 50 Moments: Super Bowl XVI
In the 1981 season, the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit hosted the Bengals’ first trip to the Super Bowl on Jan. 24, 1982. In the first northern Super Bowl, Ken Anderson scrambled for a score and took to the air to become the game's first 300-yard passer with 300 even.

AFC North Bytes

Browns' Isaiah Crowell feels 'disrespected' at times but Hue Jackson says 5 people could've blasted through for 59
Browns running back Isaiah Crowell felt disrespected when coach Hue Jackson gave him the ball only one more time after his 59-yard run in Sunday's 27-10 loss to the Ravens, but Jackson made it clear that's not the kind of run that will inspire him to feed the Crow. "No, me and you, all five of us could have run through that hole,'' Jackson said as the Browns prepare to face the 4-10 Bears on Christmas Eve.

Inside NFL: Steelers mic’d up shows how unprepared they were for the final play of the game
The Pittsburgh Steelers lost against the New England Patriots because they threw a goal line interception on a slant in the middle of a bunch of traffic. Anyone that saw the Patriots’ finish against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX could have told Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley that was a bad play call, and they’d be right.

Baltimore Ravens Blame Anthem Protest in London for Fan No-Shows at Home Games
The Baltimore Ravens and president Dick Cass claimed in a letter to season-ticket holders that one of the factors in the team's declining attendance was the decision of several players to kneel during the national anthem during the team's game in London this September, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com.

Random Bytes

Jerry Richardson Not Being Pressured by NFL to Sell Panthers, Per Spokesman
NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters on Thursday that the NFL did not pressure Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson to put the team up for sale in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him. Lockhart noted that Richardson "came to the conclusion over that weekend that putting his team up for sale was what he wanted to do," per the Associated Press. "We found out about it shortly before the announcement came out."

Jadeveon Clowney Fills Trolling Fans' Trash Cans with Toys for the Homeless
It's the holiday season, and Houston Texans defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney went from Grinch to a gracious giver in a few days. After the Texans' 45-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15, Clowney called Jags quarterback Blake Bortles "trash" when asked about his recent improvements, per Houston Chronicle reporter Brian Smith

NFL1000: Offseason Contingency Plans for Struggling Franchises
Few NFL teams go into a season expecting to be a disaster. Even teams in the midst of full-scale rebuilds can fool themselves into thinking they might hit all of the good luck buttons at the right time, have a good draft, sign a few quality free agents and perhaps surprise everybody. Then reality comes calling.