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Bengals News (10/20): Defensive identity

The defense has been the foundation of the 2021 Bengals, and it has to do with the unit finding its identity.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals Hakeem Adeniji Cleared To Practice
Adeniji has been on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list since Aug. 31 with a pectoral injury. Today starts a 21-day period during which he may practice with the team without counting against the 53-player active roster. He is eligible to be activated to the roster at any time during that period.

Taylor Made Takes: Zac Taylor talks about the Bengals need to win the turnover battle against the Baltimore Ravens
We should measure ourselves with how we'll perform in the division. This is a team that's kind of been the standard in this division for a number of years. They've played in Super Bowls, they've played in playoff games. It's a great opportunity for us to go get some momentum on the road with a divisional game.

Why the improved Bengals are(n't) ready to challenge the Ravens for AFC North superiority
When the Baltimore Ravens play host to the Cincinnati Bengals (1 p.m. ET, CBS) on Sunday, Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow headline a matchup of the top two teams in the AFC North. But the battle for first place will be waged by teams competing on different levels in recent years.

Cincinnati Bengals Linebacker Logan Wilson Didn't Take a Shot at Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson - Sports Illustrated Cincinnati Bengals News, Analysis and More
Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson unintentionally raised some eyebrows following Cincinnati's Week 6 win over Detroit when asked about facing Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson.

NFL Week 7 odds, picks: Bengals shock first-place Ravens, Colts upset 49ers on Sunday night
I'm not sure what rock bottom is in the NFL, but I think we saw at least six teams hit it in Week 6. The Dolphins lost to a team that hadn't won in 399 days, the Browns went full Browns, the Broncos lost to a team that was being coached by a special teams coordinator and the Lions look like possibly the worst team in NFL history.

It Turns Out Ja’Marr Chase Is Quite the Catch
Since he was drafted fifth this spring, Chase has done two things: (1) appeared in the preseason as though he had forgotten how to catch a football, and (2) played like Randy Moss. Critically, he did the former when the games did not count and has done the latter while they very much do. Chase caught only one of five targets and had four drops in the preseason, yet he’s now fourth in the NFL with 553 receiving yards and tied for fourth with five touchdowns through the first six games of this season.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 7: Rookie Heat Check, starring the hot hands of Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase
Week 6 in the NFL brought a merciful end to the first losing streak of Trevor Lawrence’s life, a shootout between Dak Prescott and …. Mac Jones (?!), a massive fourth-down stop by the Titans to beat the Bills, a couple of blowouts and another dominant performance by the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.

The Bengals Defense Has Found Its Identity
Through a third of the NFL season, the Bengals are a surprising 4-2. Cincinnati is second place in the competitive AFC North, and if the playoffs started this week, it would own the AFC’s fifth seed. The Bengals haven’t made the postseason since 2015, but in coach Zac Taylor’s third season, the team is off to a strong start that has put them in contention to end their playoff drought.

Around the league

Browns QB Case Keenum to start vs. Broncos in place of injured Baker Mayfield
Mayfield aggravated an injury to his non-throwing shoulder in Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals on a tackle by J.J. Watt. The move comes just a day after Mayfield declared that the decision on his playing status would be his alone. Even in the immediate aftermath of the Browns' 37-14 home loss to Arizona, the former No. 1 overall draft pick was steadfast in his determination that he would not miss a game, despite the short week of recovery for a Thursday game.

NFL Week 7 underdogs: Making the case for six teams to beat the odds
Itching to watch an underdog try to overcome the odds or triumph against adversity? Simply looking to pass the time reading another article while stuck in your cube? Marc Sessler offers a bead on six us-against-the-world 'dog scenarios to track entering Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season.

Aaron Rodgers has no regrets about 'I own you' comment to Bears fans
"It was definitely spur of the moment," Rodgers said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "And I am proud of my (touchdown) runs; there's been some local media folks in Green Bay who talked ad nauseam about my decreasing ability to kind of get out of the pocket and make things happen. ... To be able to pull that one out and get the old pump-fake working and get into the end zone was pretty special."

Washington cuts veteran kicker Dustin Hopkins, promotes Chris Blewitt to active roster
Hopkins generated an 84 percent field goal rate in six-plus seasons in D.C. In 2021, he converted 12 of 14 field-goal tries in six games and missed two extra points, both in Week 4. He botched a 42-yard field goal attempt in Washington's Week 6 loss to Kansas City.