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Bengals Bytes (9/11): Joe Mixon becomes the focus of the offense

Joe Mixon had a great outing against the Colts. Hopefully that is a sign of things to come in his second season.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals Looking For All Hands On Deck To Cool Off Ravens
Shawn Williams thinks he’ll play after the first ejection of his life. Preston Brown wants to play after he didn’t finish a game for the first time in his life. And Sam Hubbard just found out he’s going to play more defense after he played fullback for the first time in his life.

Marvin Lewis News Conference Transcript - 9/10
“We have a lot of improvement to make, and we have to make it in a hurry. We did a good job in the running game for the most part, offensively. We have to shore some things up protection-wise. We got bulled (bull-rushed) a little bit. We need to keep understanding that and fix it in the right spots. That will be helpful. Special teams-wise, we didn’t really have a lot of opportunity, but there are some things we have to be conscience of. We need to make sure we’re always paying attention to the details and shore things up. Defensively, we have some things we have to do a little bit better. With Shawn Williams’ ejection, Clayton Fejedelem was in the game and Jessie Bates became the experienced guy back there very quickly, (in regard) to the guy that’s got all the work (leading up to the regular season). We have to continue to get better there. (Bates) played a good first football game. We just have to have everybody on the same page throughout the defensive football team.”

Quick Hits: Bengals Mull MLB Status; Austin Salutes Bates
Middle linebacker Preston Brown has never missed one of his 65 NFL games, but the Bengals may not know until Thursday night’s game against the Ravens (8:20 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) if he’s available as they check out the ankle he injured in the first half in Sunday’s win in Indianapolis.

Bengals' Shawn Williams: 'I don't know what else I'm supposed to do'
He was the first player ejected under the umbrella of the new point of emphasis for illegal use of helmet. Williams will likely receive a fine and any potential suspension for Thursday’s game against Baltimore would be expected to be assessed at some point Monday. As of 5 p.m., the Bengals had not received word of any suspension for their starting safety.

Cincinnati Bengals: Grading the victory over the Colts
The Bengals lost their 2017 opener at home and then couldn’t bounce back for Game 2 during a short week. This time with a similar quick turnaround to Thursday’s home opener against the Baltimore Ravens, they are riding momentum of a strong second half Sunday.

Could the Cincinnati Bengals have a repeat of the 1988 season?
You knew Mike Brown had gravely erred when he brought back Marvin Lewis as head coach for 2018. You knew that Lewis’ third straight season without a playoff berth – and more importantly, his NFL-record 16th straight without a playoff win – was well underway.

Bengals: No time to revel in Week 1 victory with Ravens looming
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis came into his weekly press conference Monday afternoon, exchanged pleasantries with the media and commented that he was tired. With a quick turnaround to Thursday’s home opener against Baltimore, there wasn’t much time to rest Sunday night as he reviewed film of the team’s 34-23 win at Indianapolis and began preparations for the Ravens.

Mixon it up: Bengals 2nd-year RB is focus of new offense
The second-year running back was the focus of Cincinnati’s redesigned offense on Sunday, getting all but one of the carries and finishing second in receiving. A 34-23 win at Indianapolis showed a different focus in coordinator Bill Lazor’s redesigned playbook.

Preston: After laugher of an opener, Ravens prepare for real prime-time test in short week
The Ravens travel to Cincinnati on Thursday night for the Bengals’ home opener at Paul Brown Stadium. As impressive as the Ravens were and as much excitement as they created against Buffalo, the game had the flavor of a preseason contest.

Random Bytes

NFL Team Grades for Week 1 of 2018
It's hard to imagine a wilder opening to the 2018 NFL season. The Philadelphia Eagles began their title defense at home with a Week 1 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers mounted a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback. And the Cleveland Browns ended their 17-game losing streak—with a tie.

Report: Rams Offered 2 Picks for Khalil Mack, Would Have Traded LB in Offseason
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Rams offered first- and third-round draft picks to the Oakland Raiders for Mack during the offseason. Oakland ultimately rejected the offer and traded the pass-rusher to the Chicago Bears.

Raiders HC Jon Gruden Says Khalil Mack 'Didn't Want to Play Here'
The defensive end held out the entire preseason seeking an extension beyond the final year of his rookie deal in 2018. He was eventually traded to the Chicago Bears, where he was able to quickly agree to a six-year, $141 million contract extension.

Jon Gruden loss gives debuting NFL coaches 0-7 start
The Raiders, in a complete rebuild under Gruden with 31 players on the team's 53-man roster having never spent a day on the team's 53-man roster last season, fell to the Los Angeles Rams 33-13 on Monday night before an announced crowd of 53,857 at the Oakland Coliseum.

Todd Gurley, Rams Spoil Jon Gruden's Debut with Win over Raiders
Los Angeles opened its 2018 season with a 33-13 road victory over the Oakland Raiders on Monday in Oakland Alameda Coliseum. Jared Goff (17-of-32 for 229 yards and two touchdowns) and Todd Gurley (108 rushing yards, 39 receiving yards and one touchdown) combined to spoil Jon Gruden's first game as a head coach since 2008.

What we learned from Rams, Jets victories on Monday
After a humbling low-wattage first-half performance, Sean McVay and the Rams rebounded in the second half to steal time of possession, momentum and a win from the Raiders in Jon Gruden's homecoming. The league's leading offense from a season ago didn't look it in the first two frames. Reigning Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley had just five touches; offseason acquisition Brandin Cooks was nowhere to be found; and Jared Goff looked off.