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Bengals Bytes (12/25): Marvin Lewis still coy on future

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Marvin Lewis doesn’t give any indication about his future after the Bengals win over the Lions.

Detroit Lions v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

6 things to know about Cincinnati Bengals win vs. Detroit Lions
The Cincinnati Bengals won their fifth consecutive home finale Sunday by coming from behind twice for a 26-17 victory that eliminated the Detroit Lions from the playoff race. Backup running back Giovani Bernard sparked the rally with 116 rushing yards and seven receptions for 52 yards after taking over for injured starter Joe Mixon in the first quarter. It was the third career 100-yard rushing game for Bernard, and his 168 scrimmage yards were a career high.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis still coy about future after win
Marvin Lewis knew what everybody was wondering: Is this his farewell to Cincinnati? ''I guess everybody's writing me off,'' Lewis said, after his Bengals rallied for a 26-17 win over Detroit on Sunday. Well, pretty much.

Bengals reportedly will target a current NFC coach to replace Marvin Lewis
With Marvin Lewis all but out the door in Cincinnati, it appears that the Bengals are already targeting potential replacements for their soon-to-be-gone head coach. Although Hue Jackson's name has already been floated as a possible candidate to replace Lewis, it seems that he's not the only ex-Bengals assistant that the team might be targeting. According to NFL.com, the "preferred candidate" for the Bengals is actually Redskins coach Jay Gruden and the team plans to go after him if he becomes available.

Young Bengals show spark with victory in Marvin Lewis' possible home finale
There's no question the Cincinnati Bengals are about to conclude one of their most disappointing seasons in years. But the team seemed determined to provide some hope for the future, at least on this Sunday, snapping a three-game losing streak to beat the Lions 26-17 in what could be the final home game for coach Marvin Lewis.

Bengals knock out Lions, 26-17
A decimated Bengals defense pitched a courageous second half in Sunday’s Paul Brown Stadium season finale and the overhauled offensive line delivered a 26-17 victory that knocked the Lions out of the postseason. Running back Giovani Bernard, enjoying his first 100-yard day since Sept. 20, 2015, got the final 12 of his 116 yards on a touchdown run he veeered around the right edge with 1:54 left to account for the final score. Two of the guys he followed were the young guards who played so well in Alex Redmond and Christian Westerman as the Bengals ran a power play out of a goal-line set.

Bengals flex Lions
An offense that has been questioned about everything from its power to its passion displayed both in Sunday’s 26-17 victory over the Lions that featured the huge heart of running back Giovani Bernard and an offensive line energized by the play of two youngsters basically making their NFL debut on one foggy Christmas Eve.

TDBH:Bah, humbug: Bengals’ bid to repeat as AFC champs denied in season finale
Left for play-off dead after last week’s 61-7 win over Houston, everything the Bengals need to happen on the last Sunday of the season happens. All they need to do to make the playoffs and earn a chance to repeat their AFC championship is beat the Vikings tonight in a special Christmas presentation of Monday Night Football. But it is the Vikings that end up winning the NFC Central with a 29-21 victory that ends one of the most frustrating Bengals’ seasons ever at 8-8. Beginning the season as swaggering AFC Central favorites after missing out on a Super Bowl title by 34 seconds, the Bengals are the only division team not to make the playoffs. Quarterback Boomer Esiason, who pulls the Bengals to within 22-21 on his third touchdown pass of the night with 8:49 left offers the season’s benediction. Too immature to win.

Bengals at Ravens Moved to 4:25 p.m.
The Cincinnati-Baltimore, Buffalo-Miami and Jacksonville-Tennessee games will all move from 1:00 PM ET to 4:25 PM ET and remain on CBS. The Carolina-Atlanta and New Orleans-Tampa Bay games will both move from 1:00 PM ET to 4:25 PM ET and remain on FOX.

Quick hits: Apology accepted; Take a bow, Boling; Banged-up D shuts down Stafford; No Marv call
After one of the greatest and guttiest games of his career Bengals running back Giovani Bernard found himself apologizing after Sunday’s clinching touchdown run, a 12-yarder with 1:54 left that made the final 26-17 for Cincy. A few plays later Bernard, the star of the game with 30 touches for a career-high 168 of the Bengals’ 364 yards, told defensive coordinator Paul Guenther he was sorry.

AFC North Bytes

Browns head to Pittsburgh in Week 17 with the wrong kind of history looming
The Browns, following their 20-3 loss to the Bears on Sunday, are now one loss away from becoming the second team in NFL history to finish the season with a record of 0-16. It's the kind of history no one wants and it is, frankly, something no one could have envisioned a season after the Browns went 1-15. "I'm pissed," head coach Hue Jackson said. "Let's just be honest and put it out there, I'm disappointed, I'm pissed off, because I never saw this being this way in two years here, ever."

Ravens interested in claiming former Steeler James Harrison
Well this would certainly feel odd. According to reports, the Ravens are one of two teams interested in claiming Steelers all-time sack leader James Harrison.

Random Bytes

Drew Brees Makes History as Saints Beat Falcons to Earn 2017-18 Playoff Berth
The New Orleans Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons 23-13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday afternoon to clinch their first playoff berth since 2013. Now 11-4, New Orleans will try and secure an NFC South title in Week 17 after the Carolina Panthers mounted a late charge and defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22-19 to stay alive in the race for the division championship.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys out of Playoff Contention with Loss to Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks ruined Ezekiel Elliott's return from his six-game suspension and ended the Dallas Cowboys' playoff hopes in the process, earning a crucial 21-12 win Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

Jimmy Garoppolo Deserves Major Payday as the Savior the 49ers Desperately Need
The San Francisco 49ers have their quarterback of the future, and he's about to become one of the richest men in professional sports. That was already apparent when San Francisco traded a second-round pick for Jimmy Garoppolo in October. There were clues that the 2014 second-round pick was quickly becoming a franchise quarterback when he threw a sweet touchdown pass on his third snap as a member of the 49ers, and more hints came when he followed that up by leading San Francisco to three consecutive victories over the Chicago Bears, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans in December.