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Bengals News (11/30): Back on track

The national media are giving the Bengals plenty of respect following their huge win.

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Francisco 49ers Game On Sunday, December 12 Moved To 4:25 p.m.
The Bengals' Week 14 home game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Dec. 12 has been moved from 1 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. The game will still be broadcast on CBS. The Bengals end the season with four home games in the final six weeks, including an important AFC matchup this Sunday against the L.A. Chargers at 1 p.m. in Paul Brown Stadium.

Quick Hits: Bengals offensive line playing well, establishing the run game
"In the room we've always believed in ourselves, we knew what we were capable of doing," said left tackle Jonah Williams in Monday's media Zoom call. "We've shown little bits and pieces of that and so I think that there's a lot of confidence in the room, there's a lot of we have each other's backs and there's times where you see what we're capable of and it's really impressive stuff."

Bengals seek home field advantage in AFC Playoff race
As the AFC playoff pack heads into December, the fifth-seeded Bengals are currently the top Wild Card team and hope heading for home is one of the intangibles that puts them over the top after Sunday's 41-10 rout of the Steelers came in the din of 63,238 at Paul Brown Stadium.

Bengals Notebook: Cincinnati currently No. 5 in AFC Playoff Picture
"Being 7-4 in late November, that's a great place to be in, but we just have to take care of the rest of the games coming up," said Hilton, who got a game ball instead of the one he caught from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with 30 seconds left in the first half and returned 24 yards for the ridiculous 31-3 halftime lead.

Cincinnati Bengals Move Up in Power Rankings Following Dominant Win Over Pittsburgh Steelers - Sports Illustrated Cincinnati Bengals News, Analysis and More
The Bengals are eighth in Sports Illustrated's latest power rankings. They were 10th last week, but moved up two spots following a dominant win over the Steelers in Week 12. The Cardinals, Packers, Buccaneers, Ravens, Patriots, Bills and Chiefs are the only teams ranked higher than Cincinnati.

Bengals are back: Five reasons Cincinnati is in the hunt for first playoff berth since 2015
The Cincinnati Bengals' resurgence can be traced back to Dec. 30, 2018. The Bengals had just concluded a disappointing 6-10 season with a 16-13 road loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Marvin Lewis, who had previously guided the Bengals to four division titles and seven playoff berths, fielded postgame questions about his future. Given the Bengals' state at the time, along with the fact that division rivals Cleveland and Baltimore were kicking off new eras with promising rookie quarterbacks, Cincinnati fans braced themselves for a return to the franchise's losing ways of the 1990s and early 2000s.

NFL Winners and Losers: Joe Burrow, Bengals are on the rise
Burrow validated the Cincinnati Bengals' decision to take him first overall in the first half of last season, but the problem was that knee injury. Burrow tore multiple ligaments, making his return less than certain. He'd be back on the field but there was no guarantee he'd ever be the same. Ask a Washington fan about Robert Griffin III sometime.

Bengals' offense finding its groove behind Joe Mixon, running game
The way the Cincinnati Bengals dismantled the rival Pittsburgh Steelers wasn’t just cathartic for a franchise that has often been on the other side of a blowout in recent years, it was a release for an offense that desperately needed one.

Bengals see 'changing of the guard' in AFC North after destroying Steelers
"Beating these guys for me twice and some of these other guys three times, it's a big changing of the guard in our opinion," Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton said, via the team's official website. "It gives us a lot of confidence and guys are excited to see how the season plays out."

National Columnist Praises Cincinnati Bengals Following Blowout Win Over Pittsburgh Steelers
"The Bengals are for real," Breer wrote as one of his 10 takeaways for his Monday Morning Quarterback column. "If you wanted to think this was the same old Cincinnati outfit a couple of weeks ago, it’d have been hard to blame you. After an eye-opening 5–2 start, the Bengals blew a lead at the Jets on Halloween and got blown out by the Browns the week after that to limp into their bye at 5–4. And with that, the players and coaches got a shot to take stock of where they were—and there’s no question that reflection certainly could’ve allowed the doubts of the past to creep back in. But in this case, the opposite happened."

Around the league

2022 NFL Draft order: Jets holding two of top five picks
The Bengals' offensive skill talent can be downright explosive despite an offensive line that's been average at best. It should be a high draft priority, especially if the club doesn't re-sign G Quinton Spain and T Riley Reiff.

The First Read, Week 13: Mac Jones ready to push Patriots? Dolphins pointing up
The New England Patriots have generated a six-game winning streak by relying on all the foundational principles that make head coach Bill Belichick smile. They've benefitted from a ball-hawking defense, effective special teams and a blue-collar offense that prides itself on efficiency and balance. All those elements have helped rookie quarterback Mac Jones find his way as a first-year starter. His next game will give us an idea of whether he's truly prepared to take this team on a championship run.

Brian Kelly leaves Notre Dame to be head coach at LSU
Kelly's stunning decision to move on from Notre Dame in his 12th season comes on the heels of the jaw-dropping news that Lincoln Riley was leaving Oklahoma for USC. Kelly succeeds Ed Orgeron, who coached the Tigers through the end of the regular season after agreeing to part ways with the school in October. Orgeron was at the helm for the team's magical run to an undefeated season and national title less than two years ago.