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Bengals News (10/13): Finally getting defensive

Week 5 showed what the Bengals were planning when they retooled their defense.

NFL: OCT 04 Jaguars at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bengals offseason moves on defense has improved the unit
If the Ravens' new age offense is symbolic of how and why the Bengals ripped up their defense during the offseason, then Sunday's effort in holding quarterback Lamar Jackson to a career-low three yards rushing and third lowest completion percentage in his 27 starts during the 27-3 loss in Baltimore reflected they're on the right track:

Bengals Notebook: Injuries continue to pile up on the defensive line
The Bengals' three highest-paid players from the offseason are hurt heading into Sunday's game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Local 12) in Indianapolis. Nose tackle D.J. Reader (knee) was declared out for the year Monday. Cornerback Trae Waynes (pectoral) never made it to the field before surgery and he could be back later in the year.

Cincinnati Bengals place D.J. Reader on Reserve/Injured List; Sign Xavier Williams
Williams (6-2, 309), a sixth-year player out of the University of Northern Iowa, originally was college free agent signee of the Arizona Cardinals in 2015. He spent time with the Cardinals (2016-17) and Kansas City Chiefs ('18-19), and then was with the New England Patriots earlier this season. He has played in 45 career games, and has 80 tackles, three sacks and three FFs.

Bengals Booth Podcast: Highlights, comments and analysis after the Week 5 game against Baltimore
It's the "I've Seen Better Days" edition of the Bengals Booth Podcast as Dan Hoard and Dave Lapham break down Sunday's loss in Baltimore with highlights, postgame comments and analysis. Plus, "Fun Facts" with rookie Akeem Davis-Gaither.

Inability to keep Joe Burrow upright is problem Bengals must fix quickly
It's hard to imagine it can continue at this rate. Through five games, Burrow leads the NFL in sacks. And after the most recent outing, it's clear it's on the entire team, including Burrow, to make sure that he finishes the season with his faculties intact.

Battered Burrow, Bengals lacking in big plays, consistency; whose stock up, down
Burrow was sacked seven times Sunday, hit another eight times and was forced into a pair of turnovers as the Ravens (4-1) brought pursuers from all angles, highlighting Cincinnati’s nagging offensive line deficiencies and never allowing Burrow to work on the game plan. The result was a listless 27-3 Bengals loss.Burrow has been sacked 16 times in the last three weeks and an NFL-high 22 times this season.

A.J. Green to Patriots? Bengals WR appears to want out of Cincinnati
The veteran wide receiver's comeback from an ankle surgery that kept him sidelined for all of 2019 has been uninspiring. Through five games this season, Green has only 14 catches on 34 targets for 119 yards and zero touchdowns.

Indianapolis Colts open as 8-point favorites over Cincinnati Bengals
Looking to bounce back from a loss, the Indianapolis Colts (3-2) are strong favorites to begin the week over the Cincinnati Bengals (1-3-1) ahead of the matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Cincinnati Bengals lose D.J. Reader for season with quad injury
Reader, who was placed on injured reserve Monday, went down with less than nine minutes in the third quarter Sunday after he tackled Baltimore's Gus Edwards following a 3-yard gain. Reader was carted off the field and was visibly frustrated as he went back to the locker room.

Bengals players, coaches comment on A.J. Green after strange viral vid
Green was targeted just once by Joe Burrow, an interception on a pass lofted over his head as a blitz collapsed the pocket. The star wideout, at least given the broadcast angle, then appeared to show little effort in trying to tackle the defender who made the pick. Later, Green was ruled doubtful to return with a seemingly mystery injury.

Around the league

Brees, Saints hold off Herbert's Bolts for 'MNF' victory
Rookie first-rounder Justin Herbert came out firing for the Los Angeles Chargers. Future Hall of Famer Drew Brees rallied the New Orleans Saints back. And after a seesaw battle on Monday night, it was Brees and a defensive stand that propelled the Saints to a 30-27 overtime victory on Monday night.

Bills-Titans is on after Tennessee has no new positive COVID-19 tests Monday
The Titans have had more than 20 players and personnel test positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus since their Week 3 win over Minnesota, forcing the team to close its facility, reschedule its Week 4 game, move up its bye week and shuffle its Week 5 contest to Tuesday. Tennessee again closed its facility Sunday after a staff member -- who Pelissero reported was a coach -- tested positive for COVID-19, but held their first true practice since Sept. 25 later in the day after receiving authorization from the NFL.

What to watch for in Buffalo Bills-Tennessee Titans Week 5 matchup
One of the biggest knocks on Allen his first two seasons was the overly aggressive way he played the game at times. In 2020, the third-year QB has taken fewer deep shots while upping his efficiency in the intermediate passing game, which has translated to an incredible 331.5 YPG (second-highest) and 12-1 TD-INT ratio. Allen is averaging 8.0 air YPG and completing 51.4% of his throws to receivers with three-plus yards of separation, compared to 9.4 and 41.1% in those areas, respectively, in 2019, per Next Gen Stats. Stefon Diggs' elite ability to get open, combined with fellow speedster John Brown and Cole Beasley, has been a godsend, notably on the road where Diggs is averaging 134 YPG (67.5 at home). The Titans have allowed just one 100-yard receiver so far, but, given how they struggle with speed, Diggs and Allen have a great chance to make some more magic.

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn: 'We've just got to finish these damn games'
In the aftermath of Los Angeles' heartbreaking overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints, Lynn told reporters he "never thought" this team would lose four in a row. The fashion in which they've lost them, though, has been rather familiar, with each coming by a margin of one possession.

Falcons must be open to full rebuild following firings
When Dan Quinn was hired as the Atlanta Falcons' head coach in 2015, the first thing he did was install a basketball hoop in the team's meeting room. The idea was to spur greater competitiveness among players, which says something about the complacency into which the team had slid at the time. For a time, Quinn's plan -- Quinn's everything -- worked, the hip-hop playlists and high-energy demeanor elevating the Falcons to a Super Bowl appearance in February 2017.