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Morning Bites (12/30): Bengals beat Ravens edition

A look at the stories and reactions from around the internet regarding Cincinnati's win over the Baltimore Ravens... along with some Wild Card looks.

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Andy Lyons

Aaron Rodgers; Rob Chudzinski; missed Chargers penalty; NFL Week 17
Not much happened on the last day of the regular season Sunday. Just: • The greatest regular-season game of Aaron Rodgers’ career. I asked him where the 33-28 NFC North title game win ranked, the one with the 48-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb on 4th-and-8 with 46 seconds left to win...

Bengals top Ravens, 34-17
Cincinnati avenged a Week 10 loss at Baltimore with a 34-17 win against the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals finished the regular season 11-5, and 8-0 at home. They'll host San Diego in the first round of the NFL playoffs either Saturday or Sunday.

Juggling O-line pans out for Bengals
Amid the madness of injuries, the Bengals' offensive line didn't allow a single sack or hit on Andy Dalton. All that came against one of the most tenacious front sevens in the league, led by Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs.

Bengals sack another Superman
Tackle Domata Peko, the conscience of the stubborn and proud Bengals defense, wanted to know if going 8-0 at home had ever been done in Cincinnati. Told not in 25 years, Peko smiled as big as an 11-5 season.

Quick Take: Chargers at Bengals
Three things to know about Sunday's San Diego Chargers-Cincinnati Bengals playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium:

Cincinnati Bengals need a patient Andy Dalton
Has a quarterback ever been given more nicknames by fans and media than the Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton? The latest nickname for Dalton has popped up: "Greedy Andy."

Defense proves it can carry Bengals
Frustrated, Marvin Jones was about ready to put his head in his hands and disappear from the 62,000-plus who had just filed into Paul Brown Stadium. His teammates on the Cincinnati Bengals' defense wouldn't have let him do that even if he really tried.

First playoff round features rematches
Both AFC first-round games will be rematches of December games. However they will be in different places. For the Bengals and Chargers along with the Colts and Chiefs, it will not be the first time they have faced each other in the playoffs.

The Walkthrough: Does Defense Win Championships?
As I wrote in yesterday’s notebook, take a look at what this defense has been doing to teams at PBS lately. They have five defensive touchdowns in the last five home games. Mike Zimmer’s defense landed third in the NFL, posting his best ranking as a defensive coordinator with the Bengals and the best in Cincinnati since the 1983 group that led the league.

Reedy: Ugly play clouds Dalton's day
Andy Dalton has had a passer rating under 65 in 14 regular-season games. Sunday's 34-17 victory by the Bengals marked just the fourth time they have won.

Notes: Bengals host Chargers 1 p.m. Sunday; Whit talks respect; Dre's dad called it; D ranked 3
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis had no desire to watch the New England-Buffalo game becaue he had no control of the situation. It's just as well.

Ravens-Bengals Postgame Quotes
Marvin Lewis: "That was a great win today against a team that had everything to play for, and I am very proud of our team."

Offense shows off versatility
For an offense that opens the playoffs next week a year to the day the Bengals were eliminated by the Texans in a game they had just 198 yards of offense when only one receiver had more than 34 yards, it's a good sign.

Reedy's 5th Quarter: Bengals vs. Ravens
The Enquirer's Joe Reedy hands out his game ball and analyzes the ups and downs of the Bengals' win against Baltimore at home Sunday.

Leftovers from the Cincinnati Bengals' Week 17 win
CINCINNATI -- While quarterback Andy Dalton's struggled and some timely, stingy defensive play factored heavily in the Cincinnati Bengals' 34-17 win Sunday, there were a few other items that did, too. Here's a quick look at four leftovers from the Bengals' regular-season finale against the Ravens:

Morning Stripes: Welcome to the playoffs
After a rather quick 17 weeks, we made it through yet another NFL regular season. For each of the teams that are waking up this Monday morning knowing they still have at least one game to play, this was a year filled with ups and downs. Naturally, the highlights outlasted the low lights for those teams, allowing their respective playoff appearances to take shape.

Rapid Reaction: Cincinnati Bengals
A few thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 34-17 victory against the Baltimore Ravens.

Bengals eliminate Ravens despite Andy Dalton's struggles
Andy Dalton threw four interceptions on Sunday; the Cincinnati Bengals wrapped a perfect regular-season home slate by hammering the Baltimore Ravens 34-17 anyway. That's either the best sign or the worst as the Bengals try again for their first playoff win since 1990 in an AFC wild-card game next weekend against the San Diego Chargers at Paul Brown Stadium.

Patience with Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb pays off for Packers; more Snaps
The Ravens looked listless and flat for much of their 34-17 loss at Cincinnati on Sunday, and you have to wonder if John Harbaugh's team spent all of its emotion and energy on those two remarkable comeback victories against Minnesota and Detroit in Weeks 14-15. Maybe there is something to the idea of a Super Bowl hangover, because when Baltimore needed to find an extra gear the past two weeks, it just wasn't there.

NFL Playoffs 2013: Early look at wild-card weekend
How dangerous does that outcome make the Chargers, now an underdog with nothing to lose? Well, that all depends on which San Diego team shows up: the one that narrowly eked past the Chiefs’ backups or the one that beat a fully-manned Kansas City and Denver on the road.

Quick analysis: What to expect during Wild Card week
Andy Dalton’s play against the Ravens in the final game of the season did not inspire confidence. Then again, the Bengals’ defense swarmed the Ravens, forcing Joe Flacco into terrible decisions. The Bengals deserve kudos either way for beating a team playing for its playoff life.