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Bengals News (10/30): Cincinnati is focused on getting off the field during their break

The Bengals’ defensive numbers on third down are some of the worst in the NFL.

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This Day in Bengals History: Blakemania is Born
The script is too ridiculous, too far-fetched for Hollywood. But not for Bengaldom on a sun-splashed day at Riverfront Stadium an obscure third-year third-string quarterback in his first NFL start comes within five minutes of leading the winless Bengals to a victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Cowboys. Dallas rookie kicker Chris Boniol ends the dream with five minutes left on a 38-yard field goal that snaps a tie and gives the grateful visitors a 23-20 victory.

Kids Muscling Up For Defense In The Second Half
Perpetually upbeat Bengals defensive coordinator Teryl Austin runs his room with optimism and positive reinforcement and he’ll be relying on more and more of it in the second half of a season that begins with a unit that just lost active pass rusher Carl Lawson for the season with a torn ACL when he became the second regular down linemen to suffer that fate.

Notebook: Third Down First Priority; Lewis Won't Talk Hue; Torn ACLs Rip Through Roster
The Bengals are giving them up at a 55.9 percent clip after the Bucs went 10-for-18 and Austin is trying to stop a season-long trend that began on Opening Day when Colts QB Andrew Luck clicked on 11 of 17. It's been a huge factor because it has kept a battered unit on the field. Only Cleveland has taken more snaps than the Bengals' 570.

Marvin Lewis Press Conference: 10/29
“As I summed it up yesterday, we were fortunate to win the football game. We had people who did some good things, but we didn’t play well enough around the board, particularly on defense. The opportunity for us to evaluate comes at a good time, and to have the guys understand their responsibilities. (The bye week) will be a good time for that.”

Bengals: Marvin Lewis mum on Hue Jackson's dismissal by Browns
And the Cincinnati Bengals' coach declined to comment on if he would be open to bringing Jackson back to Cincinnati to serve in some capacity.

Bengals on pace for a historically bad defense
That's how many yards the Cincinnati Bengals gave up in a 37-34 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Evans said he remembered looking up at the scoreboard at one point and being shocked to see how many yards they had given up.

Bengals have 5 wins at midpoint despite worst defense
Cincinnati let an 18-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter before rallying for a 37-34 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. It was among the worst defensive performances in Bengals history - the Bucs piled up 576 yards and had touchdown passes of 60 and 72 yards .

Random Bytes

NFL Power Rankings: B/R's Expert Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 9
It seems like only yesterday that the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles were kicking off the 2018 NFL season. But here we are, eight weeks in and preparing to turn the calendar to November.

Browns dysfunction preceded Jackson, Haley firings; NFL trade deadline rumors
As we mentioned in MMQB this morning, there was no way for the Browns to move forward with their coaching staff as it was constituted—and the move to fire both head coach Hue Jackson and OC Todd Haley was a strike to bring some level of normalcy to the building. Last week it became abundantly clear that the conflict was unfixable. Jackson publicly said that he would be more involved in the offensive meeting rooms, but nothing changed in the days to follow. And the fact that Jackson hadn’t been involved in teaching, building or gameplanning the offense all along—a result of giving Haley the autonomy he was promised—led to the players having credibility issues with the head coach.

Tom Brady, Patriots Breeze Past LeSean McCoy, Bills on Monday Night Football
After leading only 9-3 at halftime, the Patriots pulled away thanks in part to 324 passing yards from Tom Brady. The performance was enough to help the team earn its fifth straight win and improve to 6-2.

Browns Needed to Fire Hue Jackson and Todd Haley to Save Baker Mayfield
From the day Jackson decided to deny the top overall pick first-string reps in the offseason, it was clear that slowing Mayfield's development was practically his mission statement. It was like a Munchausen-by-proxy approach to running a team: weakening it on purpose to keep expectations low.