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Bengals Bytes (5/29): How to get back to the playoffs

How can the Bengals make their way back to the postseason this year?

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NFL: Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals: Early 53-man roster predictions 2018, defensive backs
After focusing on the Cincinnati Bengals and the players they’ll be working with in the 2018 offseason, we’ve finally come to the end of the defensive side of the ball. With the rosters as full as they can be, now is a great time for an early look at who the team may decide is worthy of those coveted 53 available spots once the regular season kicks off. We have already seen the quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive linemen, and defensive linemen, and linebackers.

Andy Dalton changes up his helmet game in 2018
The Cincinnati Bengals are changing much around the team in 2018, from the coaching staff underneath Marvin Lewis to the players on the field in key roles. Andy Dalton remains under center of course — but he’s making a change as well.

Keys to Bengals making playoffs part one
The Cincinnati Bengals have talked all offseason about being in win-now mode. After two consecutive seasons of missing the playoffs, the team enters the 2018 season in the hopes of getting back there. Only this time, they would like to win one. Since head coach Marvin Lewis took over in 2003, Cincinnati has been to the playoffs seven times but has yet to win a single playoff game.

Quinton Flowers could be secret weapon for Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals signed South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers as an undrafted free agent following the 2018 NFL Draft. Flowers has one of the most heartbreaking and inspirational stories in this year’s draft class. After all that he has overcome in his short lifetime, he finally makes it and gets the opportunity to play for an NFL team.

Bengals news: Tyler Eifert claims his back surgery recovery is right on schedule
Health hasn’t been kind to NFL tight end Tyler Eifert over the course of his first five seasons in the league that plays for pay. In a possible 80 games, the Notre Dame product has suited up in only 39. Fortunately for the Cincinnati Bengals, that troubled history hasn’t stumped his enthusiasm to return from his latest setback, back surgery, via Jim Owczarski of

AFC North Bytes

After just 3 practices, Joe Flacco believes Michael Crabtree is ‘the guy’
Joe Flacco is excited about newly added wide receiver Michael Crabtree after getting to practice with him and build some chemistry. After just the third OTA practice on Thursday, Flacco praised his new target.

Jabrill Peppers will be closer to the action in 2018 for the Browns
Jabrill Peppers saw the jokes about how far off the line of scrimmage he spent much of last season. Consider a lighthearted exchange last month when Peppers tweeted that he didn't realize how long an NFL offseason really was.

Random Bytes

Dez Bryant Deletes Instagram Comment Listing 49ers as Team He Wants to Play For
Dez Bryant apparently envisions himself in the Bay Area next season. The former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, who is still a free agent, said on Instagram he would like to play for the San Francisco 49ers when asked by a user which team he wants to join. While Bryant deleted the comment, 49ers HUB shared a screenshot of the message

2018 Stat Predictions for Every Projected Starting NFL QB
Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL. It's the big difference between the league's contenders and pretenders. The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl with Nick Foles under center, but they were thrust into the postseason hunt by the outstanding play of Carson Wentz. The team the Eagles downed in that big game has a quarterback many consider the best to ever play the game in Tom Brady.

49ers DE Cassius Marsh on Patriots: 'They Don't Have Fun There'
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Cassius Marsh did not enjoy his time last season with the New England Patriots. Not even a little bit. "They don't have fun there. There's nothing fun about it. There's nothing happy about it," he told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. "I didn't enjoy any of my time there, you know what I'm saying? It made me for the first time in my life think about not playing football because I hated it that much."