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Bengals Bytes (8/25): Under pressure

NBC says the Bengals are facing the most pressure out of any AFC North team. Tyler Eifert is projected to finish near the top in touchdown catches for tight ends. Andrew Luck is reportedly unlikely to play in the season opener.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals' Tyler Eifert projected to finish second among tight ends in touchdown grabs
Having played just eight games in 2016, Eifert finished the year with 29 catches, 394 yards and 5 touchdowns. He ranked 24th at his position, but he proved to us once again that he can score in bunches. In the last two seasons, Eifert has turned out 18 touchdowns in just 21 games.

Cincinnati Bengals face the most pressure in AFC North
The Cincinnati Bengals underperformed last season and both Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis could be fired if the team struggles again.

Michigan commit Ryan Hayes a 'carbon copy' of Bengals' Jake Fisher
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The comparisons of 2018 Michigan commit Ryan Hayes to Jake Fisher are natural. Hayes accepts them, even welcomes them, but he doesn’t dwell on them. If Hayes’ path from Traverse City (Mich.) West High School to Michigan and beyond compares favorably to how things turned out for Fisher, a West alum who is projected to be the Cincinnati Bengals’ starting right tackle, Hayes will have no complaints at all.

No Hall call, but Kenny basks in Bengals 50th fame
Bengals all-time passer Ken Anderson thought ‘it would have been a nice synergy,” if the Bengals 50th anniversary celebration coincided with his selection Thursday as a senior candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It didn’t happen when the calls, instead, went to former Oilers linebacker Robert Brazile and former Packers guard Jerry Kramer. But despite Thursday’s vote there continue to be encouraging signs for Anderson, as well as teammate Ken Riley.

New look Bengals offense for Washington Redskins?
After a dismal outing against the Chiefs, Week 3 could be just what the Bengals need. When the Redskins and Bengals tangle on Sunday (4:30 p.m., Fox), there could be a couple of new faces on the field. Giovani Bernard has yet to see action in any preseason game and John Ross (shoulder) has been recovering from surgery. Both speedsters could get a taste of real-time action against Jay Gruden’s gang.

Cincinnati Bengals Preseason: Players to watch vs Redskins
Two weeks into the preseason, the Cincinnati Bengals have plenty which should both excite and concern the team and fans about their roster for the upcoming season. Some areas which have emerged in the spotlight — such as their heated kicker battle — should be a fortuitous sign of what’s to come. Others — like their defense’s propensity for allowing long drives — could be the early evidence of problems which will cause a second-straight season outside the playoff picture.

Fantasy Football: Which Bengals back should you draft?
With the Bengals preseason in full swing, the running back battle is heating up. With three decent backs to choose from, it’s looking more and more likely that they may have a backfield by committee. Yes, that’s right, the most dreaded words in fantasy football have been uttered. With that being said, which members of the Bengals backfield should you take in this year’s draft?

AFC North Bytes

Cops: Mom, daughter beat grandma over Steelers game volume
YOUNGWOOD, Pa. (AP) - Authorities say a woman's daughter and granddaughter beat her and shaved her head because they thought she was listening to the Pittsburgh Steelers' game too loudly on the radio.

Anatomy of an NFL Protest: How and Why the Browns Got the Country Talking
Late last week, Cleveland Browns defensive back Jason McCourty walked into the locker room, when he saw about a half-dozen of his teammates talking. "What's going on here?" McCourty thought. It was the start of what would become the NFL's largest national anthem protest to date. This is the anatomy of how it happened.

Jimmy Smith: Ravens defense is a special unit
Before the start of training camp, Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams said the team’s defense is “amazing” and that the unit would do something special during the 2017 season. It has been a little more than a month since Williams shared that opinion and all the work the Ravens have done on the field over that period has at least one of his teammates feeling the same way. Cornerback Jimmy Smith shares Williams’ feeling about what lies ahead in Baltimore.

Random Bytes

Chart Party: The history of the NFL, 1987-2016
Some NFL teams are kind of predictable. Others win and lose in ways that defy explanation. This is a scroll through nearly a thousand years of combined NFL history.

Jaguars are stuck with Bortles’ salary, no matter what
At a time when some have suggested that the Jaguars will trade quarterback Blake Bortles (that’s not happening), the only viable alternative to parking him on the bench for the full season in order to avoid triggering his injury-guaranteed $19 million salary for 2018 would be to cut him. But cutting him saves the team not a penny; his $3.2 million base salary for 2017 is fully guaranteed — and the Jaguars removed all offset language when the deal was signed in 2014.

Andrew Luck Reportedly Unlikely to Play in Season Opener Due to Shoulder Injury
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is reportedly in serious danger of missing his team's Week 1 showdown against the Los Angeles Rams as he continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. Appearing on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio Thursday (via ESPN.com's Mike Clay), ESPN.com's Mike Wells said "the odds are against" Luck being in uniform for the Colts' season opener.

Blake Bortles, Chad Henne Still Competing for Jaguars Starting QB Job
The starting quarterback spot for the Jacksonville Jaguars is reportedly still hanging in the balance. According to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone didn't name a starter between Chad Henne and Blake Bortles after the Jaguars dropped Thursday's preseason game to the Carolina Panthers 24-23.