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Bengals News (9/29): Banged up defense

The Bengals may be without a few key defenders for Thursday Night Football.

Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Game Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals, Regular Season Week 4, Thursday, September 30, 2021
The Bengals controlled the game against Pittsburgh from start to finish on both sides of the ball. Offensively, QB Joe Burrow completed 77.8 percent of his passes, tossed three TDs to one INT, and posted a 122.9 passer rating. Burrow averaged 9.6 yards per attempt through the air, while HB Joe Mixon averaged 5.0 yards per carry on the ground. Burrow also was not sacked all afternoon, breaking an NFL-record streak of 75 straight games in which the Steelers had recorded a sack.

Bengals Notebook: Isaac Curtis Enjoying Another Monster Season From Rookie WR; Bates, Awuzie Don't Practice As Defense Looks To Reverse Trend Vs. Rookie QBs
Bengals great Isaac Curtis knows a thing or two about great passing duos and as part of the 1981 team re-union at the Ring of Honor Game Thursday night at Paul Brown Stadium (8:20 a.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 5 and NFL Network) he'll see what he hopes is the next one when quarterback Joe Burrow and rookie wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase take a run at Jacksonville.

Head Coach Zac Taylor talked about working in a short week and Logan Wilson's rise as a linebacker
We needed it for ourselves to get a win on the road in a big game like that. We needed to see what it felt like. We needed to feel ourselves earn it. The demeanor quickly turned to, 'We've got bigger things at stake.' We're on a national stage here in a couple of days and we better be ready. We know what life in this league is. I don't care what Jacksonville's record is. We better play our best football because they've got a lot talent on that roster.

Bengals injury updates on Jessie Bates, Tee Higgins don’t sound good
Tuesday changed this idea pretty dramatically. That evening, Bates, Higgins and Awuzie were again listed as DNP. Trae Waynes did return full, but as Geoff Hobson of the team’s official website pointed out, now it’s time to start worrying:

Mike Tomlin Responds to Tyler Boyd's Criticism of Pittsburgh Steelers
"Like I said after that game, and it includes him, I tip my cap to that organization and their performance and win," Tomlin said. "I proceed moving on to the next challenge and we better play better the next time we see him. That's always our mentality. I care less about what people say that are not involved in us and with us and function and understand who and what we are."

Around the league

Offensive Player Rankings, Week 4: The good and bad of each rookie QB's season so far
Still, it hasn't been all bad, as you'll see in my breakdowns of the five rookies who have logged starts already this year: Trevor Lawrence, Wilson, Justin Fields, Jones and Davis Mills. (Though San Francisco's Trey Lance has played in two games, he hasn't made a start, so he was not considered.) Below, I've gone in-depth on one thing I like and one thing I dislike about these players' seasons thus far:

Lions release LB Jamie Collins after no trade materializes
The Lions have turned to rookie Derrick Barnes to fill the role vacated by Collins. Barnes made his first start of the season Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, and made four stops while playing about half the team's defensive snaps.

Marlon Mack, Colts mutually agree to seek trade to new team
After a fantastic rookie season in 2020, Jonathan Taylor has taken over as the starter, and per Pelissero, the contract extension of Nyheim Hines served as writing on the wall for Mack. Hines' receiving skills and speed in the open field make him a nice complement to the more powerful Taylor.

Drew Brees 'all for' Tom Brady breaking his 'special record' for career passing yards
A week removed from becoming the second quarterback to surpass the 80,000-yard milestone in a 432-yard showing against the Rams, Brady needs just 68 yards to unseat longtime contemporary Drew Brees for most career passing yards.