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Bengals Bytes (9/27): Keeping hope

One of the last hopes for the Bengals to make the playoffs is the fact the rest of the AFC North doesn’t look as good as usual. What is the deal with Cam Newton?

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Cincinnati Bengals vs Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Offense looks to build on quick start
Bill Lazor called his first game as the Bengals offensive coordinator Sunday and showed, yeah, he probably is a MIxon guy after rookie running back Joe Mixon was the centerpiece of a 27-24 overtime loss that has shot some hope into the unit.

Fantasy Recap: Week 3
Week 3 of the NFL season is now in the books, and with the exception of everything that transpired with the issue of taking a knee during the National Anthem, it was an amazing week for lovers of football. We saw one of the best games we’ll see all year on Thursday night when the Rams and 49ers swapped touchdowns all game long; we saw the Jaguars absolutely dismantle the Ravens in London; and, we saw a rookie in Deshaun Watson go into Foxboro and almost do what no other rookie had ever done, beat the Patriots in their home stadium as a rookie.

Top 50 Moments: November to Remember Rolls on with AFC Title Game Preview
The November to Remember rolls on with the Bengals going into San Diego and smoking the high-flying Chargers and Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, 40-17. The Nov. 8, 1981 game turns out to be a preview of the AFC title game, but long before the Bengals ice the Chargers in Cincinnati they scorch them on the road in a dominating 31-7 first half that all but gives them home-field advantage for the storied rematch.

TDBH: Leonard Leap cuts down Super Bowl champ Steelers in fourth quarter comeback
The unheralded Bengals, grinding in the shadow of a four-win season, serve notice today they are in it for the long haul when they catch the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers with 14 seconds left at Paul Brown Stadium on quarterback Carson Palmer’s four-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andre Caldwell for a 23-20 victory that is one of their most improbable, gutty, and gut-wrenching wins in their history. It is also Pittsburgh native Marvin Lewis’s first home victory over the Steelers in his 100th game as Bengals head coach and Cincinnati's first win over its arch-rivals in three years and three days and first at PBS since Dec. 30, 2001. Wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco wires the locker room with the Sam Cooke ballad “It’s Been a Long Time Coming,” that also captures the long day.

Hobson's Choice: Bengaldom re-groups
Being an optimist, watching that Green Bay game made me very excited about our young defensive players. Obviously Will Jackson did big things, but players like Lawson, Willis, Vigil, Dennard (who was all over the place), and Chris Smith get me excited as well. Now on to the question. Where did Billings go? I know he is still coming back from injury, but he doesn't look like the superman strong draft pick we made two years ago. Do you believe it is a technique/footwork issue, a mental smarts issue, or is he just not physically back to where he was coming in? Alex McKenzie, Erlanger, KY

Here are five playoff contenders who could fall short of postseason
The Bengals have dug a huge hole for themselves, but it’s not impossible to overcome. They have two winnable games against the Browns and Bills before their bye and then a showdown against the Steelers on Oct. 22. All three AFC North teams losing on Sunday helped the Bengals, but everything will hinge on that Steelers game.

Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns NFL Week 4 Game Preview
The Bengals clicked as an entire team for a half in Green Bay, taking a 21-7 halftime lead over the Packers. But in the second half and overtime, the club missed a field goal, scored just three more points and the Packers out-scored them 20-3 the rest of the way to fall to 0-3 on the season.

Sports Today: Cincinnati Bengals move on as protest fallout continues
The Cincinnati Bengals got back to work Monday, wrapping up talk of the loss in Green Bay and looking ahead to the Cleveland Browns. There wasn’t much substance in coach Marvin Lewis’ remarks, although I’m not sure I blame him for keeping it bland. I understood long ago that’s the way it’s generally going to be, but also in this case I think his overarching message was more than coach-speak.

Cincinnati Bengals NFL Giovani Bernard Beyond The Stripes 2017
Bernard, in his fifth year with the Bengals, is averaging 5.1 yards per carry and 13.4 yards per reception. He scored a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers Sunday and has scored 21 touchdowns in his career.

Cincinnati Bengals: 3 Reasons they lost vs. Packers in Week 3
It was a game effort for most of the afternoon, but despite finally finding some offensive success and picking up six sacks of Aaron Rodgers, the Cincinnati Bengals find themselves at 0-3 through three weeks of the 2017 season.

Bengals’ Special Season Starts 0-3, Winless Browns Up Next
The 50th season in Bengals history started with banners and on-field honors for some of the franchise’s greatest players. It’s quickly turned into a reminder that the last half of their history has been more frustrating than anything else. The Bengals remain winless after the Packers rallied for a 27-24 overtime victory at Lambeau Field on Sunday. They’re 0-3 for the 14th time in franchise history, leaving them with long odds of ending their most stubbornly enduring streak.

Walkthru: Bengals’ hope? AFC North is terrible
But if there’s one hope the Bengals can cling to is this: the AFC North is not good. True, the Bengals are already down a game in the division with their season-opening loss to Baltimore. But it’s possible I’m playing for the Ravens on New Year’s Eve in Baltimore and the Bengals have four games left with Pittsburgh and Cleveland – beginning Sunday on the shores of Lake Erie.

AFC North Bytes

Fire Chief Apologizes for Calling Mike Tomlin a 'No Good N----r' After Protest
Paul Smith, the volunteer fire chief at Muse Fire Department in Cecil Township, Pennsylvania, apologized Monday for using a racial slur in reference to Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. According to Pittsburgh's Action News 4, Smith said, "Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good n-----s. Yes I said it," in a Facebook post.

Ravens National Anthem Singer Resigns over Protest Reactions
Baltimore Ravens national anthem singer Joey Odoms announced his resignation Tuesday, citing fan reaction to protests of social injustice during the national anthem around the NFL. According to's Jamison Hensley, Odoms explained on Facebook that the "tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country's cultural crisis have convinced me that I do not belong there. Someone once told me to always 'go where you're welcomed.'"

Random Bytes

From GoT to GOAT: Joey Bosa's Impending Stardom Has No Limits
Picture Joey Bosa as a Dothraki warrior—shirtless, hair pulled back in a tight bun, leather wraps around his forearms, straps around his chest. Visualize him swinging an arakh in the shadow of dragons, charging toward an army of White Walkers and wights.

NFL Power Rankings: Where Does Every Team Stand Heading into Week 4?
Everyone is good in the NFL. That's one of the first lessons I learned when I came into the league as a rookie quarterback. I thought I played with and against some quality guys during my time at Texas, but I quickly learned that even a backup defensive end on a "bad" team is better than most of the players I saw.

Mike Freeman's 10-Point Stance: What's the Deal with Cam Newton?
It was in March when Cam Newton had shoulder surgery, a development that limited the Panthers quarterback to throwing two passes in the exhibition season while also curtailing his participation in training camp. Then, in Week 2, he injured his ankle. Two weeks ago, Panthers coach Ron Rivera spoke of the new normal for Newton, telling Max Henson of that injuries would likely force Newton to be limited in practice for much of the season.