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Bengals Bytes (12/26): Where has this team been all season?

Where has this Bengals team been all season? Also it seems the Bengals are happy to fall back onto an old coach.

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Detroit Lions v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Bengals inject life into half-empty PBS
Sunday set up as the perfect storm of apathy. The Bengals came off back-to-back blowouts against Chicago and Minnesota in a season deemed dead before that. The FOX affiliate in nearby Lexington opted for Falcons-Saints instead of the nearby Bengals. The head coach is on his way out of town. Christmas Eve time with families called and the weather dipped into the 30s with rain and snow in the forecast.

Where has this Cincinnati Bengals team been hiding?
Cincinnati Bengals fans were expecting a lump of coal. They were ready for the same old worn out excuses and uninspired play of the past few weeks. But, what transpired at Paul Brown Stadium on Christmas Eve was a friendly reminder that there are still pros on this team. With the temptation to just hang it up and go through the motions, the Bengals pulled it together and produced a solid win for the last home game of the season.

Cincinnati Bengals content with the same old retreads
Cincinnati Bengals fans are not going to be happy. Well, just being a Bengals fan can cause that kind of situation. It’s hard to stand behind a franchise that keeps making the same moves (mistakes) over and over. Now, there’s word that Cincy is interested in the services of Jay Gruden as head coach. Really? Hasn’t this been the problem that keeps occurring within the framework of this organization? At some point, it has to stop.

TDBH: Bengals get first player in trade for Stofa
Bengals founder Paul Brown tips his hand early in what he values as he begins building his team for the upcoming season today when the former Massillon High School health instructor taps a school-teacher quarterback to be the first player on his roster. He obtains Dolphins back-up John Stofa in exchange for two bonus picks at the end of the first and second rounds in what is billed as the second year of the NFL-AFL common draft next month at New York City’s Belmont Plaza Hotel. Miami wants the Bengals’ second pick in the draft, but Brown turns them down before grudgingly giving up the 27th and 54th picks for the 25-year-old Stofa.

AFC North Bytes

Myles Garrett Tells No. 1 Pick in 2018 NFL Draft 'Don't Be Fearful, Be Grateful'
The Cleveland Browns locked up the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL draft by virtue of their loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday, and defensive end Myles Garrett had some words of wisdom for whichever player winds up with the club in April.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers Cruise to Blowout Win vs Texans; Clinch Playoff Bye
The Pittsburgh Steelers clinched a first-round bye in the 2017 playoffs with a dominant 34-6 victory over the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Christmas. The defense led the way Monday evening, totaling seven sacks and creating two turnovers.

Random Bytes

Jerry Jones Says He Feels Good About Jason Garrett After Cowboys Miss Playoffs
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett received a vote of confidence from team owner Jerry Jones following Sunday's 21-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. "Just so we're clear about it, I do understand frustration right after you lose a game that has as much meaningfulness as this ballgame, but I get to look at a lot of different things and have been around a lot of head coaches and coordinators," Jones said, per Todd Archer of "I feel good about our head coach."

Cancer survivor David Quessenberry completes 'very emotional' comeback with Texans
When Texans offensive lineman David Quessenberry lined up as an extra blocker with the offense against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it completed an emotional, successful victory over cancer. Quessenberry made his inspirational NFL regular-season debut Monday following a three-year battle with non-Hodgkin T-lymphoblastic lymphoma.

Philadelphia Eagles clinch top NFC playoff seed
Four stories, four takes ... on the trouble in Philly, on the fiasco that is instant replay, on the sleepiest Week 17 in memory, and on an MVP race that really isn’t hard to divine despite the recent greatness of Todd Gurley …