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Bengals Bytes (9/7): Jordan Willis looks to provide a pass rushing boost

Jordan Willis wants to provide more than just run defense this season.

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NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

What national media are saying about the 2018 Bengals
As the Bengals begin the 2018 season this Sunday on the road against Indianapolis, the national media attention has increased following a strong preseason.

Notebook: Bates goes from Lucky Lunch to Opening Day start; Injury update
Back in the summer of 2015, when Luck was the hottest thing in Indiana besides the 500 bricks after three straight Pro Bowl seasons in his first three NFL seasons, he sat down for lunch with a high school senior. Small world. Jessie Bates III, the Bengals rookie free safety that Lucked out that day, makes his first NFL start in Indianapolis Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) against him.

3 Things To Watch – At Indianapolis
After an offseason of OTAs, the draft, training camp and preseason games, the 2018 season officially begins when the Bengals head up I-74 to face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Matchup of the Game: Bengals look inside to set tone
Atkins, fresh off a four-year extension and a sixth Pro Bowl season, is leading a ferocious Bengals front that dominated their preseason. Nelson, a specimen so unique he was the first offensive lineman taken in the draft even though he’s a guard, is the great hope for an unsettled Colts line needing to protect quarterback Andrew Luck.

Jordan Willis could be more than run-stopper for Bengals
Coach Marvin Lewis and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin have both said they plan to get the second-year player on the field more this season. Lewis knows that the taciturn Willis wants it badly.

Cincinnati Bengals start season with one of NFL's youngest teams
In other cities, he likely would still be a few years away from a space, but playing on one of the youngest teams in the league, Dalton is a seasoned veteran compared to the majority of the roster. Cincinnati opens the season Sunday with the youngest group in Marvin Lewis’ 16 years as head coach.

Broo View: Here are 9 reasons why the Bengals will be better than the past two seasons
Go ahead, scream "Homer." Dirty little secret: Most fans prefer complaining about their team to complimenting them. Tune in to any sports talk show from Jacksonville to Seattle, and you'll learn every NFL city not named Boston thinks their coach is a moron sometimes.

Bengals notes: DL stable, ratings up, odds down
Marvin Lewis tried out the ideal feel for his defensive line rotation. He used the first half of the game against Buffalo to give everyone a taste of how it will operate.

Cincinnati Bengals waive veteran Josh Shaw, rookie Chris Okoye
The Bengals waived two players — rookie defensive tackle Chris Okoye and veteran cornerback Josh Shaw — from the Reserve/Injured list today with injury settlements. Okoye and Shaw were waived Saturday as part of the Bengals final cuts, but reverted to the team’s Reserve/Injured list after they cleared waivers.

Random Bytes

Two Years Post-SB Meltdown, Matt Ryan and the Falcons Still Impossible to Trust
There are a legion of people who will tell you how great Ryan is. It's almost like a cottage industry. An army of apologists who toss all of Matt Flacco's stats and data and film cut-ups in your face like they're grenades.

Eagles Hang On to Beat Julio Jones, Falcons 18-12 on Thursday Night Football
Jay Ajayi put the Eagles ahead with an 11-yard touchdown run in the final three minutes, and Philadelphia's defense held strong on the game's final play after an illegal contact penalty gave the Falcons one more chance from its 5-yard line. Matt Ryan threw a ball up for grabs for Julio Jones, and he came down with it but was well out of bounds.

Doug Pederson Says Eagles' Trick Play vs. Falcons Was Copied from Patriots
Following the Eagles' 18-12 win over the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday night, head coach Doug Pederson confirmed the trick play he called in the third quarter—which was eerily similar to his "Philly, Philly" stunner in Super Bowl 52—was an exact replica of the play the Patriots ran against the Eagles.

Ravens' secret weapon? Lamar Jackson 'absolutely' ready to play
Jackson, a first-round pick, certainly can be a playmaking wrinkle and a creative spark for a Baltimore offense that finished No. 27 in the NFL and ranked last in big plays last season.