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Bengals News (12/24): Helping his chances

Zac Taylor may have really given himself another shot in 2021 after upsetting the Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Quick Hits: Bengals believe Jessie Bates III & Tyler Boyd should be Pro Bowlers
"I think he's very deserving. I'm glad we have him on our team. I wouldn't take anybody over him," Taylor said before Wednesday's practice. "Obviously the vote is what the vote is. Some guys really take issue with that, but the bottom line for us is Jessie has been a tremendous, tremendous player, leader on the practice field, on the game field. Whenever we need a play to be made, Jessie's one of those guys I go to and say 'It's your time to go make that play.' I count on him, the team counts on him, and he has yet to let us down."

Taylor Made Takes: Zac Taylor talks about the importance of creating turnovers
We won it because these guys did a great job with their preparation. We finally played complementary football in all three phases. It might not have been sexy necessarily. But the defense created turnovers. The offense capitalized off those turnovers. Special teams were steady. All three phases came together to find a way to win.

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Tony Brown designated to return from the Reserve/Injured list
Brown, a third-year player, was placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Dec. 5 with a hamstring injury, which he suffered in Game 11 vs. the N.Y. Giants. He has played in 11 games (one start) this season, recording nine tackles and a pass defensed on defense. He also has two special teams tackles.

Zac Taylor's Odds of Being the Next Head Coach Fired Drop After Cincinnati Bengals' Win Over Pittsburgh Steelers
“This has been the expectation. Every Sunday, when you walk on the field, you expect this result," Taylor said on Monday night. "It’s obviously been disappointing when it hasn’t been that way, but I don’t feel any different. I’m excited obviously, for all the guys in the locker room that put in the work, like I said. But this is been the expectation for us, and this is going to continue to be the expectation."

Ben Roethlisberger Explains Why He Missed Chase Claypool Open Downfield Vs Bengals
One of the big knocks against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stemming from his most recent performance on Monday against the Cincinnati Bengals is the fact that he appeared to miss throwing to an open man down the field on at least a couple of different occasions over the course of the game, instead throwing an incompletion to somebody who was, let’s say, less open.

Bengals draft target Penei Sewell throws out a ‘Who Dey’ on social
During Monday’s upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers, fans at Paul Brown Stadium had their usual banner up — but this time with a twist. It focused on a player not on the current roster and read “Penei for ur thoughts.”

Bengals upset has sent Steelers into a tailspin
Call it a great story for the 14.5-point underdogs who had been repeatedly pushed around in this rivalry for years. If things get worse for the Steelers, the Bengals can certainly take credit.

Around the league

Lions interim coach Darrell Bevell won’t coach vs. Bucs due to COVID-19 protocols
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that interim Darrell Bevell won't coach Saturday after being deemed a high-risk close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, per sources informed of the situation.

Potential Tua Tagovailoa-Marcus Mariota QB matchup on NFL Saturday would join rare company
Whether Mariota will start is still uncertain, as Raiders QB1 Derek Carr continues to work through a groin injury he suffered in Week 15. Mariota filled in valiantly for Carr in a narrow loss to the Chargers last week, becoming the first non-starter in the Super Bowl era with 200-plus passing yards and 75-plus rushing yards in a single game.

DeAndre Hopkins goes off on critics on his practice schedule: 'Come watch me play the game'
"Yeah, man, I've heard a lot of a lot of negativity about me not practicing when I first came to Arizona," he said, via ESPN. "I don't watch the Arizona local news and channels and the sports station, but my grandfather, he's an avid listener to everything and every single one. I think, if one of you guys say something bad about me, my grandfather, he's told me. So, I've seen all the blogs and all this stuff, I'm pretty sure some of you guys might have been in there egging it on, but I'm not gonna say any names.

Doug Pederson says Carson Wentz has been 'a pro' handling benching
"You know, it can, if you let it," Pederson said Wednesday, via Penn Live. "That's one thing that Carson has not allowed that to happen and he's not going to let it happen. He's been a pro about it, and he's been very talkative in the meetings, asking the questions just like he had before, and you see him talking to Jalen during the week and during games. It's something that I really appreciate about Carson is how he's handled this. He doesn't want to be a distraction to the team."