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Bengals News (1/26): All aboard the bandwagon

The Bengals are quickly becoming a team many fans are gravitating towards among the final teams remaining.

Cincinnati Bengals v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Taylor-Made Takes: Zac Taylor talks about the challenges the Bengals will face in the AFC Championship game
On the verge of Sunday's AFC championship game (3 p.m.-Cincinnati's Local 12), Bengals head coach Zac Taylor went no huddle in his weekly conversation with Bengals.com senior writer Geoff Hobson to talk chemistry, math and the geometry of going full circle in Kansas City.

The Banks to Host Bengals Pep Rally on Friday, Jan. 28
Bengals fans are invited to The Banks for the official Bengals Pep Rally before the AFC Championship game in Kansas City on Sunday. Beer and soda sales from the event will benefit Special Olympics and their Polar Plunge event, which will be held on Saturday, Jan. 29 at The Banks.

Cincinnati Bengals Make Flurry of Practice Squad Moves Ahead of Sunday's Game Against Kansas City Chiefs
The Bengals signed defensive tackle Damion Square to the practice squad and released Doug Costin. Square is in his eighth season. He's spent time with the Eagles, Chiefs, Chargers, Browns, Saints, Bears and Raiders.

Bengals DC Lou Anarumo: We've got to make the Chiefs kick field goals
“You get a chance to have a feel for, ‘Hey, this is what these guys are really all about,’ as opposed to a team you don’t play once every four years or so,” Anarumo said this week, via Jake Rice of the team’s website. “So we have that going. I think that’s the biggest thing. They know us, we know them, and then see what worked, what didn’t work in the first game and kind of, have some change up as we go into it.

Sean Payton: Bengals' 'Who Dey' came after 'Who Dat'
Bell and Hendrickson were both drafted by the the Saints, while Apple played two seasons in New Orleans. Apple recently tweeted his disdain for the Saints fan base and the city of New Orleans, calling it the "dirtiest smelliest city" with "the worst food ever."

Chiefs vs. Bengals odds, how to watch, live stream: Model makes NFL picks, AFC Championship Game predictions
The Cincinnati Bengals are one of the NFL's most improved teams, but if they want a win in Sunday's 2022 AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs, they need to be more than just a Cinderella story. The Bengals already beat the Chiefs earlier this season, but Kansas City has advanced to the Super Bowl the last two seasons and will lean on that experience again in their fourth consecutive AFC Championship Game. Can the Chiefs advance in the 2022 NFL playoffs? You can see what happens in the 2022 NFL playoffs when you stream the game on Paramount+.

Bengals have biggest bandwagon of remaining Super Bowl contenders
It’s not unusual for fans of eliminated teams to cheer for a new team still in the race, at least temporarily. But it speaks to the personality, grit and griddy nature of Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and the Bengals that even heated rivals are rooting for them to not just beat the Chiefs, but hoist a Lombardi Trophy.

Israeli Bengals fan promised AFC tickets by Bengal's player
Hammer, 27, was born and raised in Israel and moved to Ohio with his family in 2005. While living in the Midwest, he fell in love with the Bengals and Paul Brown Stadium.

Bengals’ ‘special group’ excited for opportunity to reach Super Bowl
The Bengals free safety opened Saturday’s game with an interception on the first defensive snap, and that set the tone for a great defensive performance in a 19-16 win over the Titans in the AFC Divisional Playoffs. Bates was coming off a solid Wild Card game, too, when he had three passes defensed and six tackles against the Raiders.

Around the league

Daniel Jeremiah 2022 NFL mock draft 1.0: Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis among 3 QBs taken in Round 1
The NFL has released the list of underclassmen who have been granted early entry to the 2022 NFL Draft, marking the official start to Mock Draft Season! With 97 days until Round 1 kicks off in Las Vegas, here's my first look at how the top 32 selections could play out.

Sean Payton's tenure with New Orleans Saints transformed franchise, reinvigorated city
Later in the afternoon, he sat before assembled media and confirmed he was stepping down as head coach of the New Orleans Saints after 15 NFL seasons. On those occasions when he felt his emotions splash against the rim of his dam walls, he reached for a bottle of water and squeezed the contents into his mouth, a trick he discovered on his Google search.

Rob Gronkowski says he'd choose to retire if forced into decision 'right now'
"If they're like, 'Rob, you've got to decide right now, right this second if you're playing next year,' I would say no right now. It's two days after the season," Gronk said. "I would be like, 'No, I'm not playing.' ... You've got to give it some time. You've got to rest. I would say to see how everything goes, how everything plays out."

Cap casualties and trade chips: Ten New Orleans Saints players who could be moved this offseason
Sean Payton's decision to step down is just one of many potentially significant changes that could be ahead for New Orleans, a team that finds itself without a starting quarterback and in a massive financial hole entering 2022. The franchise is currently $74 million over the salary cap for the 2022 season -- $34 million more than the next closest team, per Over The Cap -- and there isn't a clear path to the surface.