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Bengals Bytes (8/20): Motivated

After having a very disappointing outing against the Chiefs, the Bengals’ defense is ready to comeback in Week 3 of the preseason. Shawn Williams injury doesn’t look to be season ending at this point. Is it time to believe in the Rams’ offense?

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Stung defense looks for comeback
The Bengals defense came out of this one slightly stunned after the Chiefs scored all their points the first five times they had ball in Saturday night’s 30-12 loss at Paul Brown Stadium. Even if head coach Marvin Lewis started subbing in the younger players after the first series. Because they didn’t stop much. The Chiefs converted half their third downs, completed 74 percent of their passes, and averaged 6.9 yards per run.

Chiefs at Bengals Postgame Quotes
I think going back to the first part of the game, what I remember most is that we are not converting third downs. We are moving the ball; we are getting stalled out. We have to do a better job of that. We are making first downs, and getting into third down situations and not converting. We have to do a better job of converting (third downs). Conversely, on the other side, we are letting drives continue with third down conversions. That had to be the difference with our first unit over the first 15 minutes or so. That is big. That is something we have to be better at; we haven’t hit our stride yet with it and we have to be better going forward.

Initial hope: Shawn Williams won't miss season
Pending more study of the tape, the good news is that the dislocated elbow suffered by Bengals starting safety Shawn Williams in Saturday night’s 30-12 pre-season loss to the Chiefs at Paul Brown Stadium initially isn’t believed to be as severe as the one that knocked tight end Tyler Eifert out of the 2014 season after just nine snaps. The other initial takeaway is that Williams could be back in four to six weeks and if it’s more he could be a candidate for injured reserve-return.

Chiefs all over Bengals, 30-12
The first-team offense could muster only two field goals. The top defensive regulars allowed three drives inside the 9 and a touchdown pass each by quarterback Alex Smith and rookie backup quarterback Patrick Mahomes. It got uglier as the Bengals fell to 1-1.

Shawn Williams injury leaves Bengals teammates somber
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Josh Shaw knew something was very wrong when he heard Shawn Williams screaming. Williams went down during the first half of Saturday's preseason game against the Chiefs. Williams is known for being one of the tough guys around the locker room, so to hear him in so much pain was jarring for Shaw. Many of Williams teammates immediately got on one knee as athletic trainers tended to him, then gave him a pat on the shoulder as he was lifted into a cart.

Cincinnati Bengals have talent but defense is a concern
It just wasn't a good night for the Cincinnati Bengals' defense, and that's concerning at this point in the preseason. The Bengals will presumably sit most of their starters in the fourth preseason game against the Colts, so they essentially have one week and one game against the Redskins to iron out the kinks after a 30-12 loss to the Chiefs.

How much concern about Bengals' defense?
How much does a preseason dud by the first team defense mean in the big picture? That’s a question the Cincinnati Bengals defense must ask itself coming off a 30-12 shellacking as it prepares for the dress rehearsal next week at Washington. Though, inside the Bengals locker room, the defense was already answering. Preseason doesn't take the negative stigma off a sloppy night.

The Miami Dolphins have signed ex-Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga
Maualuga, 30, played eight years for the Bengals, including two seasons with current Miami defensive coordinator Matt Burke. The familiarity between Maualuga and Burke partially led to the signing. Maualuga registered 584 combined tackles and 4.0 sacks during his career.

AFC North Bytes

Ravens try 304-pound rookie defensive lineman Patrick Ricard at fullback
Patrick Ricard is listed as a defensive end on the Ravens’ roster, but the 304-pound undrafted rookie’s best chance at a roster spot may come in the offensive backfield. The Ravens have given Ricard some playing time at fullback in the preseason, and the early returns are positive. Ricard says he’ll play wherever he has to to earn a roster spot.

Browns' Joe Thomas set to star on ESPN's E:60
Joe Thomas is many things. The Browns' veteran left tackle is a 10-time Pro Bowler, esteemed host of the Joe Thomas Hour (the Best Two Minutes of Your Life) and emerging Twitter savant​. On Sunday morning, he’ll become the first offensive lineman ever featured on E:60, ESPN’s award-winning sports magazine show.

Tomlin: 'The Door Has Never Been Closed' For Joshua Dobbs
It is all but inevitable at this point that the Pittsburgh Steelers are entering a period of transition at the quarterback position. It’s quite possible that within two years, the only quarterback currently remaining on the roster who will still be here is the one that is listed as third on the depth chart. While starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger still has three years remaining on his current contract, he has already hammered home a number of times that he is not committing himself to any more than one season at a time, so it certainly cannot be counted upon that he will still be playing in 2019.

Random Bytes

NYPD Officers Rally to Help Get Colin Kaepernick an NFL Job
Current and former members of the New York City Police Department rallied in Brooklyn Saturday in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. According to the Associated Press (via, approximately 75 "mostly minority" officers attended the rally and wore T-shirts featuring the hashtag "#imwithkap."

Is it finally time to believe in the Rams' offense?
Jared Goff was calm and precise, Todd Gurley ran with patience and ferocity, and a collection of receivers -- rookies like Cooper Kupp and Gerald Everett, veterans like Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins -- made plays all over the field. It was only a preseason game, not even an entire half of NFL football. But the way the starters navigated through an eventual 24-21 win on Saturday night allowed one to believe, for the first time in a long time, that the Los Angeles Rams may actually have a functional offense.

NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith Says Roger Goodell Lied About Changes to Conduct Policy
NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith says Commissioner Roger Goodell "lied" about consulting the players union about changes made to the league's personal conduct policy in 2014. In an upcoming episode of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel scheduled to air Tuesday, Smith asserted that Goodell didn't try to gather input from the union before sending the revised policy to owners for a vote.

NFL Preseason Week 2 Roundup: Christian McCaffrey a Superstar in the Making
Don't get too hyped. Yet don't completely overlook what happens during the preseason, either. The NFL preseason is a progression, and Week 2 is a buildup for the following weekend's "dress rehearsal." Teams begin to ramp up their preparation with first-team units playing into the second quarter and even until halftime.