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Morning Headline Bites (10/8): Prepping the Bengals and Lions

Taking a look at the NFL headlines and the Bengals prepping for the Detroit Lions.

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Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals' Carlos Dunlap earning every penny of new contract
Sure, Carlos Dunlap could always rush the passer, but this season’s improved run defense defines his effectiveness.

Lions' goal Sunday? Contain A.J. Green
The last time A.J. Green played in Detroit was his first time wearing an NFL uniform in a game. His first preseason game. His roo

Bengals center Cook reads a D like a QB
Kyle Cook could have been quarterback, he says. A 310-pound, immobile QB with an awful arm by his own admission, but a QB nonetheless.

Marvin Jones quietly growing for Bengals
Marvin Jones tries hard to avoid re-living the anger he felt during draft weekend in April 2012, in the hours just before he found out t

Double Coverage: Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions have a chance to solidify themselves for a playoff push. So do the Cincinnati Bengals. They may be in different conferences, but thi

Film review: What's with the Lions' run defense?
Breaking down one of the Detroit Lions' biggest issues so far: Their run defense.

Wednesday quick hits: Reggie looking to meet Gio
The Bengals return to Ford Field this Sunday in Detroit for the first time since they unveiled the A.J. Green-Andy Dalton era in the 2011 preseason opener.

Bengals, Dalton have target-rich environment
The Bengals are ranked in the middle of the league in passing offense, but with their depth in those who can catch the ball, they are on pace for rare territory.

Playing on the edge, or over it?
Players like the Bengals' Vontaze Burfict and Detroit's Ndamukong Suh play on difficult edge.

Andy Dalton press conference highlights
How satisfying is it to be AFC Offensive Player of the Week? "It’s definitely an honor. It’s something for me, but obviously I didn’t do it by myself. We had a lot of guys making plays out there. It was big for us to come out and get a win on the road, and for us to do some things well offensively that resulted in me being able to get the award. So hopefully we can keep improving, keep getting better. But it’s definitely a great honor."

The Notebook: Home field embarrassment
This week, we put a pair of coaching decisions under the microscope, one good and one bad. Also, two of the game's top linebackers right now are being overlooked, and Green Bay has a new closer.

Wednesday with Marvin: Previewing the Lions
Initial comments … "Looking at the Lions, it’s obviously a well-put together football team. They’ve got an outstanding receiver in Calvin Johnson, and Matthew Stafford is playing very well at quarterback. His interceptions are way down, he delivers the football on time, he’s got great vision of the field. He’s doing a great job. And Reggie Bush has been an outstanding asset to them. They’re doing a great job protecting the quarterback. They get rid of the football. Defensively, the front group is very well stocked and good. They have hard-playing guys up front, and they make their defense go. They have created a lot of turnovers this year. They’re playing excellent on third down, so we have our work cut out for us in all three phases."

Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh and Cincinnati Bengals' Geno Atkins have taken different paths to the top
Suh and Atkins were drafted the same year, but Suh had considerably more hype after making a strong case for the 2009 Heisman. Atkins was the 15th defensive tackle off the board, going to the Bengals in the fourth round.

Lions quotes: Thursday's comments from Jim Schwartz, Scott Linehan
Quotes from Jim Schwartz and Scott Linehan's media session after Thursday's Detroit Lions practice.

Carson Palmer-Bruce Arians partnership waning?
Carson Palmer's disconcerting pick streak continued vs. the Seattle Seahawks. Will Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians replace his starting QB? That's one of nine takeaways from Thursday night.

Washington Redskins nickname drama has simple solution
The realization that a fair and successful negotiation is one in which neither side gets everything it wants or walks away entirely happy with the result has been lost in Washington for quite a while now, and could stand being blared from loudspeakers 24/7 until the message sinks in.

Peyton Manning's free-agent decision changed course of many NFL teams
Almost two years after LeBron James' free agency captivated the NBA, there was the NFL’s version involving Peyton Manning.  Although Manning’s decision to play for the Denver Broncos was far less dramatic (or ridiculed) than LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach, both choices h...

Lovie Smith adjusts to life away from Chicago Bears, NFL coaching
I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie Ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind.

In the middle of a circus, Andrew Luck is normal
For all the folks participating in what has turned into a sideshow in Indianapolis this week, it’s striking that the most mature person in the process is also the youngest.

J.J. Watt still atop ATL's defensive end rankings
J.J. Watt's sacks are down slightly from last season, but is he still the NFL's best defensive end? Chris Wesseling explores while breaking down the best and worst of the position.