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Bengals News (11/8): Cincinnati back to contender form

The Bengals are back to being in the Super Bowl contender conversation.

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NFL: NOV 05 Bills at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cleveland Browns Defensive End Myles Garrett Gives 'Edge' to Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback Joe Burrow Over Lamar Jackson in AFC North QB Hierarchy
"I think Joe is coming on strong," Garrett said about giving him the edge. "When he's healthy he's one of those guys that can light you up each and every night. But Lamar does it in different ways. Even if his throwing is not on point that night, he can still rush for 150 and three touchdowns. He can beat you in a couple of different ways and Joe light you up for 400 and few people in the league can do that in general.

What Tight End Problem? Did Cincinnati Bengals Solve Major Weakness on Offense?
The quartet of Irv Smith Jr., Drew Sample, Mitch Wilcox and Tanner Hudson combined for 20 receptions for 122 yards and zero touchdowns in the first seven games of the season.

Matter-of-fact nature of Cincinnati Bengals’ latest statement is what makes them so dangerous
They scored on the opening two drives for the fourth consecutive game. The defense created two more turnovers, yet another in the red zone by Germaine Pratt. The offense finished the game in the victory formation, a helpless Josh Allen left to contemplate why this opponent has proven a nightmarish matchup.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 10: Bengals back in top 10 for first time since Week 1; Pats lowest AFC team
Joe Burrow is not only back, he's now in the MVP race. His early-season struggles and calf injury are distant memories now, as he showed in the 24-18 win over Buffalo that the Bengals can win without big nights from Ja'Marr Chase and Joe Mixon, both of whom had been significant producers in Cincinnati's recent turnaround. Tee Higgins also has reasserted himself after a string of forgettable performances, and the tight ends made a surprisingly sizable contribution -- another sign the team has added offensive dimensions. The Bengals' defense really held firm after allowing the first-drive TD. This is a dangerous club now, even if the remaining schedule really is a murderers' row. I think it'll only make them stronger in the long run.

NFL Super Bowl Picture as Wide Open as It's Ever Been After Bengals Beat Bills
We saw that play out Sunday night in Cincinnati. A month ago, the Cincinnati Bengals were languishing on offense, while the Buffalo Bills looked like arguably the best team in the league. Now, after Joe Burrow lit up the Bills for 348 passing yards and two scores in a 24-18 Bengals victory, the Bills have lost three of five, while the Bengals are one of the hottest teams in the NFL.

Why Bengals are back as Super Bowl contender after beating Bills
This streak includes beating two of the NFL's best teams in back-to-back weeks by taking down the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers. Against the Bills and the 49ers, Joe Burrow and Co. didn't just get the win, but made two top-5 defenses look silly. They particularly took down the 49ers badly, with the loss causing fans to question Steve Wilks' job and if the 49ers pass rush was doomed after Burrow went 28-32 for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Then, they had no problem keeping Josh Allen from making his usual magic in a stifling 24-18 victory that wasn't as close as the score suggests

Around the league

NFL contenders or pretenders at midseason? Saints, Texans can hit 10 wins; Chargers, Falcons cooked
The 2023 NFL season just hit double-digit weeks. This is when teams really start to take shape. And for the 10 that are currently either .500 or within one game of .500, this could be the beginning of a playoff push ... or a free fall into a top-10 draft slot next April. So, how many of these 10 teams -- let's call them the middlers -- are poised to make noise? And which ones are phony-baloney? Well, that's what I'm here to determine today.

Rams to sign QB Carson Wentz to back up Matthew Stafford; Brett Rypien waived
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford missed the team's Week 9 loss in Green Bay due to a thumb injury. Backup Brett Rypien was ineffective in the defeat, throwing for 130 yards with an interception and a fumble. That performance apparently was enough to end Rypien's time in L.A. as Pelissero later reported that L.A. was waiving the veteran.

Cowboys signing recently reinstated WR Martavis Bryant to practice squad
A 2014 NFL Draft fourth-round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers who last played for the Raiders, Bryant was indefinitely suspended by the NFL in December of 2018 for violation of the terms of his conditional reinstatement from a previous ban in which he was suspended for the duration of the 2016 season for multiple violations of the league's substance abuse policy.

Robert Saleh: It's 'lazy' to blame Jets' offensive struggles solely on Zach Wilson
"There's some good, some bad that he can build off of," Saleh said Tuesday of Wilson, via team transcript. "Some things he still needs to get rid of whether it's understanding when enough is enough. Understanding what defenses are giving you and just being a little bit quicker and saying no to things, if you will. I thought overall he was distributing the ball and like I said we were moving it at times, always presence in the pocket for every quarterback in football can always be a little bit better, but like I said, he could be a lot better. It's lazy to just put it all on him. I think like I said, it was a very, it was collective all the way across the board."