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Bengals Bytes (12/5): All of the Bengals’ nine lives may finally be gone

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The Bengals have come back into the playoff hunt time and time again, but the Bengals season may officially be done. Antonio Brown shows his true colors talking about JuJu Smith-Schuster’s dirty hit.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

Gallery: Steelers at Bengals on Monday Night Football, Dec. 4
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) catches a game-tying touchdown pass in the end zone over Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (27) in the fourth quarter of the NFL Week 13 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. The Bengals gave up a 17-3 halftime lead to lose 23-20 on a last-second field goal.

Steelers vs. Bengals final score, takeaways: Dirty hits, injuries mar Pittsburgh win
Just before halftime, it started to rain in Cincinnati. The precipitation did much more than slicken the football and playing surface. It ended up serving as an omen of a messy, chippy, and -- to put it simply -- dirty second half that followed, which marred what should've been an entertaining game between two AFC North rivals with serious playoff implications on the line.

Pittsburgh Steelers responsible for finishing off Cincinnati Bengals
Giovani Bernard knows about physical games between the Bengals and Steelers. After all, the most famous contest between the two he didn’t finish due to a hit by linebacker Ryan Shazier leaving him motionless.That was the final game of the 2015 season. But even in the aftermath of Monday’s 23-20 Steelers victory, the two were hard to tell apart.

Bengals move into top 10 (in 2018 NFL Draft order)
The Bengals lost last night, but moved up a few spots in the draft order, which is all the consolation you get this time of year when you’re not in the playoff mix. Of course, the Browns (0-12) would still pick first in the 2018 NFL Draft if the season ended today. Also, a lot of people would be saying: “Why did the season end the Tuesday after Week 13?”

Quick hits: Bengals can't finish; Deja vu for Gio; Green cools; Rare comeback
Even the Bengals had a tough time putting Monday night into words after they watched a 17-point lead vanish into a team-record 173 penalty yards against that dreaded Pittsburgh team that has now beaten them four straight at Paul Brown Stadium, six straight overall, and nine out of the last ten.

Steelers at Bengals Postgame Quotes
We’ve got to make plays there at the end to win the football game, whether it be driving and making another first down or getting field position back. And then be able to make a stop there on defense. We let them go down the field to score 10 points there in the fourth quarter, and it becomes the difference in the game. On the drive before halftime and in the third quarter, we don’t finish the doggone play. We made positive plays, but again, we needed to make critical plays in critical moments to win the football game, and we didn’t do it.

TDBH: Bengals riddle Ravens with 24 in fourth to end road drought
Shayne Graham's last-play 24-yard field goal caps the Bengals' swashbuckling 27-26 victory over the Ravens after Cincinnati drives 60 yards in the final 1:42 and overcomes a 20-3 fourth-quarter deficit for what Marvin Lewis says is the biggest victory of his two seasons as head coach. It is not only the Bengals' first win in Baltimore since Nov. 3, 1996, it also marks their second biggest road comeback since they rallied from 18 points down in that 24-21 win eight years ago at old Memorial Stadium when Lewis ran the Ravens defense in their first season.

Steelers flag down Bengals at gun
Ugly. Nasty. Physical. And the Bengals were on the short end of it when they committed a franchise-record 173 yards in penalties in blowing a 17-point lead in a 23-20 loss Monday night at rainy and perplexed Paul Brown Stadium. Actually, now that the Bengals are 5-7 and just about out of it, it was most like 2015, the last time they played the Steelers in a prime-time elimination game. Then, that was a Wild Card Game where a 16-15 lead was lost in the last 1:23 on a fumble and then penalties. In this one, it took an agonizing 30 minutes and 13 penalties to eat away at the lead.

Bengals-Steelers clash evoked memories of 2015 AFC wild-card game
Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard couldn't help but flash back to the 2015 AFC wild-card game when he saw Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier being loaded onto a backboard early in the Bengals' 23-20 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday night.

Brutality of Steelers-Bengals game can't be 'AFC North football'
You can love football and hate what happened Monday night in Cincinnati. You can tune in for bone-crushing tackles. You can stand up and cheer when a running back trucks a linebacker. And, yes, you can still be repulsed by two plays that will hover over this game -- and perhaps the NFL -- for weeks and months to come.

Bengals' playoff hopes all but gone after blowing lead to Steelers
The Cincinnati Bengals stood and watched as their season imploded before their eyes on Monday night. With everything on the line, the Bengals inexplicably blew a 17-point lead against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then the Bengals could only look on as Chris Boswell kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired to win the game for the Steelers 23-20.

AFC North Bytes

Hue Jackson believes in DeShone Kizer but admits 'we can't have too many good QBs on this team'
Hue Jackson still believes DeShone Kizer can be his quarterback of the future, but admitted the Browns might have to draft a quarterback with their top pick anyway. If the draft were tomorrow, the Browns would have the No. 1 overall pick and the No. 7 from their trade down in 2017 with the Texans.

Free-agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie lets the Ravens know that he's available
ormer star cornerback and current reality-TV star Antonio Cromartie knows what the Ravens front office also does: that the team can no longer rely on the injured and suspended Jimmy Smith. So on Monday afternoon, he figured, “Why not?” and fired off a short tweet.

Vile hits mar Pittsburgh Steelers' win; Antonio Brown cites 'karma'
As Pittsburgh Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster talked to reporters Monday night about his vicious block on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, fellow receiver Antonio Brown yelled "karma" repeatedly, then said "Touchdown Brown" will pay Smith-Schuster's eventual fine.

Random Bytes

Rob Gronkowski Suspended 1 Game for Late Hit on Tre'Davious White
The NFL suspended New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski one game Monday for violating the league's unnecessary roughness rules after his late hit on Buffalo Bills' cornerback Tre’Davious White, according to vice president of football communications Michael Signora.

Ben McAdoo, Jerry Reese Fired by Giants After 2-10 Record This Season
The New York Giants fired head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese on Monday after dropping to 2-10 with Sunday's 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders. McAdoo informed Ian Rapoport of NFL Network of the team's decision. Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com reported word of Reese's ouster, which Mark Maske of the Washington Post confirmed.

The NFL's Wokest Team Faces Ultimate Test of Its Resolve on and off the Field
The Eagles have made it all look easy this year: winning games, changing the world and having fun doing it. The NFL's most overtly, unapologetically activist team is out to prove that it's possible to win a Super Bowl while fighting for causes and sticking it to the "stick to sports" crowd once and for all.

NFL Power Rankings: Where Does Every Team Stand Heading into Week 14?
There's just a month left in the 2017 NFL season, and that's big for every team. Earlier this year, I talked about how the NFL teams I spent time with all broke the season down into quarters—each almost like a mini-season of its own. The fourth and final quarter brings unique challenges for both the good teams and the bad.