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Bengals Bytes (9/28): Same issues

The Bengals have a new offensive coordinator, but the same second half issues remain. Jabrill Peppers couldn’t sleep after seeing the tape against the Colts.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Quick hits: Lawson finding cadence; Hue starts 18th QB vs. Lewis, backs Andy;Ross itchy, Gio limited
Carl Lawson, the Bengals rookie pass rusher coming off a 2.5-sack game, is headed to one of those classic matchups Sunday in Cleveland (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) when he pits his 94 NFL snaps against Browns perennial Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas’ string of 10,000-plus straight snaps. Lawson says he’s “honored,” to get the call against Thomas but he’s getting used to it. The man he sacked last week for his first pro sack, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, is headed to Canton. Rookie lessons? He’s still shaking his head over Rodgers’ cadence on the next-to-last play of the game, a 72-yard pass that beat the Bengals in overtime. Michael Johnson, lined up at tackle, jumped offside.

Lewis, Dalton New conference Transcripts 9/27
That’s part of what we are trying to do now. We need some bigger plays. One thing is that some of the play designs can change, or other things like making guys miss. When you’ve got the ball in your hands, and if you can make some of these guys miss, especially when it’s man coverage, you can turn short gains into bigger gains. We have to find more ways to get more chunk plays and get the ball down the field.

Tez stalks encore to 2015 and 2016 debuts
For the third straight season Vontaze Burfict, regarded as the Bengals’ best defender, comes off a list Sunday in Cleveland (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) to join his team in mid-swim after just a few days of practice. So expect 36 snaps, the awe of his teammates and a defensive gem in a victory, which has happened in each of the last two seasons. As defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said contently after practice Wednesday with a huge division road game between winless clubs looming, “To get back your leader is always a good thing. He knows the defense inside and out. He’s the emotional leader and brings that element.”

TDBH: New and old faces get Lewis first victory
The Bengals fittingly claim their first victory under head coach Marvin Lewis today at Cleveland Browns Stadium, 21-14, with a stand worthy of his stingy days running Baltimore’s defense that blanks the Browns in the second half. It’s also quite Hollywood that Lewis, who also worked for the other division powerhouse in Pittsburgh, leads the Bengals to their first AFC North win in eight tries since realignment with their first road division win in September since 1988. “He’s a genius, really, in football," says Jon Kitna after he shows why Lewis chose him to quarterback the re-building project that needs credibility while Carson Palmer sits. "He's had to fight through the years of attitude and frustration and all that goes along with 12, 13 years of losing. He's done a good job of fighting through that and making sure our attitude is right."

Bengals notes: Kicker chatter, Ross update, more snaps for a rookie
Kicker Jake Elliott was the Bengals’ fifth-round pick, the first kicker selected in the draft and potentially the future to Cincinnati’s kicking problem. Then he lost the offseason and preseason competition against Randy Bullock. He was picked up by the Eagles following an injury the first week of the season. Elliott hit a 61-yard field goal to win a game for Philadelphia on Sunday.

Browns, Bengals both searching for 1st wins of season (Oct 01, 2017)
The Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, both 0-3, meet on Sunday in FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, each still looking for an identity as the season reaches the quarter pole. Browns head coach Hue Jackson was the Bengals offensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015 before leaving Cincinnati in January of 2016 to become head coach of the Browns.

New offense has same problems as the old one
Joe Mixon moved into the role of featured running back, carrying more times than in the first two games combined. A.J. Green became a go-to receiver again, with as many catches as in his first two games. The Bengals offense had a very different look in Bill Lazor's first time calling plays, but ran into a familiar problem in the second half.

Bengals' Burfict back after latest 3-game suspension
During the Bengals’ open locker room, linebacker Vontaze Burfict headed for the cafeteria, filled a foam carry-out box and headed straight to the trainer’s room, not returning until the media was leaving. Pressed to talk for 5 minutes after practice, he came off the field and told reporters he was first going to get a Bengals cap to wear for the occasion.

AFC North Bytes

Jabrill Peppers says he couldn’t sleep for days after rough outing against Colts
Cleveland Browns rookie defensive back Jabrill Peppers said he couldn’t sleep after Sunday’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts. According to Pat McManamon of, Peppers took some of his errors and mistakes against the Colts especially hard.

Terrell Suggs: I’m not falling for Roethlisberger’s mind games
The play of the Steelers offense has been a big talking point in Pittsburgh this week as the unit has gotten off to a sluggish start this season despite a collection of talent that led to high expectations about what they’d do this year.

Random Bytes

Seahawks' Latest Identity Crisis May Not Have Such Easy Answers Anymore
Here we are again, already at the crossroads of the Seattle Seahawks' season, the intersection of frustrated ambitions and diminishing returns, the point where we psychoanalyze the defense and decide whether to euthanize the offense. It's not even Week 4, yet the Seahawks are already coping with their annual identity crisis.

Michael Bennett, Doug Baldwin Take Part in CNN Town Hall on Anthem Protests
Several NFL players took part in CNN's town hall discussing Sunday's protests during the national anthem. Seattle Seahawks stars Michael Bennett and Doug Baldwin discussed their side of the issue Wednesday night, via CNN.

Odell meets with John Mara, but isn’t sorry for pee celebration
As for getting down on all fours, lifting his leg and pretending he was urinating like a dog, well, not so much. In what amounts to the student getting called in to meet with the superintendent, Odell Beckham Jr. was summoned into the office of John Mara on Wednesday, with Beckham’s dog-peeing touchdown celebration and the resulting 15-yard penalty drawing the ire of the Giants’ co-owner.