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Bengals Bytes (10/4): Franchise records the Bengals are on track to reaching

What records are the Bengals looking to break this year?

Cincinnati Bengals v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Defense Embraces Another 'Return Of Tez'
On Monday Vontaze Burfict gave Marvin Lewis what Lewis says Burfict will give his team Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) against Miami in the Paul Brown Stadium Re-Opener after spending three of the first four games on the road.

Notebook: Elastic Erickson; Simmons Says McRae Robbed
The subject is wide receiver Alex Erickson and after practice Wednesday Bengals special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons found himself quoting the late Pete Brown, the club’s senior vice president of player personnel.

Quick Hits: Sunny Forecast For Mixon; Price Re-Boots; Tez Returns
In the most positive weather forecast since Channel 5’s Kevin Robinson riffed on the Cincinnati Labor Day weekend, head coach Marvin Lewis basically cleared running back Joe Mixon for the Bengals’ return to Paul Brown Stadium (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) Sunday against the Dolphins.

Are the Bengals a legitimate contender?
I never thought I’d end up writing an article in response to a classic Stephen A. Smith tirade. The majority of hot takes that Stephen A. Smith spews on an almost daily basis are designed to catch the attention of other members of the media and sports fans in general. The intention is often to garner buzz on social media, rather than say anything of real substance. For that reason, it’s typically an ill-advised decision to place much importance on his comments. This time, he’s reeled me in and I’ve taken the bait.

Cincinnati Bengals thrilled to have Vontaze Burfict back
Burfict is coming off a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, and he was limited in the preseason because of an ankle injury that prevented him from appearing in any games.

Joe Mixon: Always part of the picture for Bengals
Coming off knee surgery two weeks ago, Joe Mixon didn’t make the trip to the Bengals game at Carolina. Watching from home didn’t sit well. So, when the Bengals headed to Atlanta this past week he made sure to let anyone who would listen know how much he wanted to make the trip.

Opposing Player Spotlight: Week 5, Cincinnati Bengals
The Dolphins were flat out embarrassed by their divisional foes up in Foxborough last week, showing that Miami still has a ways to go before emerging as a top AFC contender. That game also brought injuries to the forefront of everyone’s mind in South Florida, as the Dolphins’ swath of absences due to injuries is beginning to take a toll on this team. When the Dolphins travel to Cincinnati this weekend, one player on the opposing team is sure to attempt to take advantage of Miami’s ailing secondary.

Dolphins hope for better play in trenches against Bengals
He was talking about his offensive line, but the depiction also fits the defensive line. The Dolphins were dominated in the trenches in a 38-7 defeat, and to have a chance Sunday as one-touchdown underdogs at Cincinnati, they'll need significant improvement up front.

Cincinnati Bengals offense tracking toward franchise records
Sunday marked an impressive first quarter of the season for Lazor’s new system. The Bengals rank fourth in points scored and in the top 12 in yards per play, rush and pass. They rank second in the NFL in red-zone efficiency and are fifth in third-down efficiency.

Random Bytes

Bleacher Report's Expert Consensus Week 5 NFL Picks
Only 46 percent of Las Vegas favorites have covered (compared to 52 percent in 2017), and only 63 percent of favorites have won outright (compared to 70 percent in 2017). Meanwhile, more than 60 percent of games have been decided by one score (up from 47 percent in 2017), and only 16 percent of games have been decided by three or more scores (down from 27 percent in 2017).

Schefter: Rob Gronkowski to Play Through Ankle Injury vs. Colts in Week 5
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, tight end Rob Gronkowski "is expected to be active" for the contest even though an ankle injury impacted his practice time leading up to the Week 5 matchup.

Leonard Fournette Ruled out vs. Chiefs in Week 5 with Hamstring Injury
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced Wednesday that running back Leonard Fournette will not play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs due to a hamstring injury.

1st-Round Rookie Report-Card Grades at NFL's Quarter Mark
It didn't take long to see all five first-round quarterbacks on the field. By the end of Week 3, rookie signal-callers selected within the top 32 had their welcome-to-the-league moments. Even though one passer hasn't started a game, he's played enough snaps for us to judge his development.

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman to play versus Indianapolis Colts
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will make his 2018 season debut on Thursday vs. the Indianapolis Colts, per a league source, marking his return from a four-game suspension and the torn ACL that kept him out for the entire 2017 season.