Green’s Big Day Enough for the Bengals; Top Browns 31-17

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green juggled oranges on a postgame show after a win earlier this season, showing off for the cameras. His latest sleight-of-hand got a touchdown and turned a game.

And maybe the Bengals’ season, too.

Green’s one-handed catch in the middle of an end zone scrum highlighted Cincinnati’s day full of big plays, and the Bengals pulled away to another lopsided victory over their intrastate rival, beating the winless Cleveland Browns 31-17 on Sunday.

Green’s 48-yard touchdown catch on the final play of the first half helped the Bengals (3-4) regain their footing in the injury-depleted AFC North.

“We needed it in a big way,” said Brandon LaFell, who caught a 44-yard touchdown pass.

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Browns at Bengals NFL Week Seven Inactives

Browns: QB Josh McCown, WR Corey Coleman, CB Joe Haden, DB Marcus Burley, FB Dan Vitale, LB Corey Lemonier, TE Seth DeValve

QB Jeff Driskel, WR Cody Core, CB KeiVarae Russell, CB Chykie Brown, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, OL Christian Westerman, DL DeShawn Williams

Browns vs Bengals NFL Week Seven Capsule



STREAKS   4 of past 5
COACHES VS. OPP. Hue Jackson: 0-0 Marvin Lewis: 18-8
LAST WEEK L 28-26 at Tennessee L 35-17 at New England
LAST GAME 12/6/15: Bengals 37 at Browns 3. Cincinnati WR A.J. Green has 5 receptions for 128 yards & TD. Bengals RB Jeremy Hill rushes for 98 yards & TD.
LAST GAME AT SITE 11/5/15: Bengals 31, Browns 10. Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton passes for 234 yards & 3 TDs. Bengals TE Tyler Eifert has 5 receptions for 53 yards & 3 TDs.
REFEREE Ed Hochuli
BROADCAST CBS (1:00 PM ET): Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Buerlein (Field reporter). SIRIUS:  132 (Cle), 81 (Cin). XM: 384 (Cle), 225 (Cin).


PASSING Cody Kessler (R): 80-122-865-4-1-93.8 Andy Dalton: 147-218-1757 (3L)-6-2-97.2
RUSHING Isaiah Crowell: 83-432-5.2-3 Jeremy Hill: 75-271-3.6-3
RECEIVING Terrelle Pryor: 33-413-12.5-3 A.J. Green: 42 (1L)-606 (3L)-14.4-2
OFFENSE 348.0 364.8
DEFENSE 403.3 355.0
SACKS Cam Johnson: 2 Carlos Dunlap: 4
INTs Jamar Taylor, Joe Haden: 2 4 tied: 1
PUNTING Britton Colquitt: 47.5 Kevin Huber: 44.2
KICKING Cody Parkey: 27 (6/6 PAT; 7/10 FG) Mike Nugent: 49 (10/10 PAT; 13/15 FG)


BROWNS: Rookie QB CODY KESSLER had career-high 336 yards & 2 TDs (105.3 rating) last week…In past 3 vs. division, RB ISAIAH CROWELL has 265 scrimmage yards (88.3 per game) & rush TD. Has 6 rush TDs in past 10. RB DUKE JOHNSON, JR. had TD catch in last game at Cin. Has 85 catches since 2015, 4th most by NFL RB…T JOE THOMAS is only OL in NFL history to be selected to Pro Bowl in each of 1st 9 seasons. Has started all 150 games in career…WR TERRELLE PRYOR had career-high 2 rec. TDs last week. Is only player in NFL with rush TD, rec. TD & 5+ pass att. in 2016. In past 3 on road, has 283 scrimmage yards (94.3 per game) & 4 TDs (3 rec., 1 rush)…DT DANNY SHELTON had 1st career sack last week. In past 2 at Cin., CB JOE HADEN has 2 INTs (incl. 29-yard INT-TD) & FR. Since 2010, CBs Haden (95) & TRAMON WILLIAMS (93) are top 2 in NFL in PD…BENGALS: QB ANDY DALTON aims for 4th win in row vs. Cle. In past 2 meetings, has 5 TDs, 0 INTs & 142.8 rating…RB JEREMY HILL has 10 rush TDs in past 14 (incl. playoffs). Since 2014, has 23 rush TDs, tied for most in NFL. Has rushed for 298 yards (99.3 per game) & 3 TDs in past 3 meetings. RB GIOVANI BERNARD has 172 scrimmage yards (86 per game) in past 2 at home vs. Cle…WR A.J. GREEN had 5 catches for 128 yards & TD in last meeting. In past 8 vs. division (incl. playoffs), has 47 catches for 801 yards (100.1 per game) & 7 TDs. Has 6 TDs in past 6 at home (incl. playoffs). TE TYLER EIFERT had career-high 3 TDs in last meeting. WR BRANDON LA FELL has 3 TDs in past 2. DT GENO ATKINS has 42.5 sacks since 2011, most by NFL DT. DE CARLOS DUNLAP has 4 sacks in past 3 vs. Cle. Has 11 sacks in past 11 at home. Has 17.5 sacks in past 22. CB ADAM JONES is only active player in NFL with 2+ INT-TDs (2) & 5+ PR-TDs (5) in career.

Bengals Drop to 2-4; Fall to Brady and the Patriots 35-17

Cincinnati Bengals v New England Patriots

Playing in his first game in Foxborough since the end of his “Deflategate” suspension, Tom Brady had three touchdown passes and went over 5,000 completions for his career and the Patriots beat the Cincinnati Bengals 35-17 on Sunday.

Brady finished 29 for 35 for 376 yards. Tight end Rob Gronkowski had seven receptions for a career-high 162 yards and a touchdown.

Cincinnati drops to 2-4 for the first time since 2010, when it finished 4-12 — its worst season under coach Marvin Lewis.

The Bengals had their moments offensively, scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run by Andy Dalton and 5-yard pass from Dalton to Brandon LaFell. Dalton finished 21 of 31 for 254 yards and the touchdown.

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Bengals at Patriots NFL Week Six Inactives

Bengals: TE Tyler Eifert, QB Jeff Driskel, WR Cody Core, CB KeiVarae Russell, CB Chykie Brown, OG Christian Westerman, DT DeShawn Williams

DE Shea McClellin, LB Jamie Collins, CB Cyrus Jones, DT Vincent Valentine, OT LaAdrian Waddle, CB Justin Coleman, RB Brandon Bolden

Bengals vs Patriots NFL Week Six Capsule



STREAKS   5 of past 6
COACHES VS. OPP. Marvin Lewis: 1-5 Bill Belichick: 14-4
LAST WEEK L 28-14 at Dallas W 33-13 at Cleveland
LAST GAME 10/5/15: Bengals 17 at Patriots 43. New England QB Tom Brady passes for 292 yards & 2 TDs for 110.7 rating. Patriots RB Stevan Ridley rushes for 113 yards & TD.
REFEREE Ronald Torbert
BROADCAST CBS (1:00 PM ET): Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 112 (Cin), 82 (NE). XM: 385 (Cin), 82 (NE).


PASSING Andy Dalton: 126-187-1503 (2L)-5-2-96.2 Tom Brady: 28-40-406-3-0-127.7
RUSHING Jeremy Hill: 62-233-3.8-3 LeGarrette Blount: 106-389-3.7-5 (T3L)
RECEIVING A.J. Green: 36 (2L)-518 (2L)-14.4-2 Julian Edelman: 24-231-9.6-0
OFFENSE 366.4 377.2
DEFENSE 338.6 345.0
SACKS Carlos Dunlap: 4 Jabaal Sheard: 3
INTs 4 tied: 1 Jamie Collins: 2
PUNTING Kevin Huber: 44.7 Ryan Allen: 44.6
KICKING Mike Nugent: 44 (8/8 PAT; 12/14 FG) Stephen Gostkowski: 34 (13/13 PAT; 7/10 FG)


BENGALS: QB ANDY DALTON leads AFC with 1,503 pass yards. Passed for 2 TDs & had 117.4 rating in last start at NE. Has 31 games with 100+ rating & Cin. is 27-4 (.871)…RB JEREMY HILL has 10 rush TDs in past 13 (incl. playoffs). Since 2014, has 23 rush TDs, most in NFL. RB GIOVANI BERNARD had 96 scrimmage yards (50 rush, 46 rec.) last week…WR A.J. GREEN had 5 catches for 81 yards & TD in last meeting. Leads AFC with 518 rec. yards & is 2nd in AFC with 36 catches. WR BRANDON LA FELL had 2 TD catches last week, 4th career game with 2+ rec. TDs…DE CARLOS DUNLAP has 17.5 sacks in past 21. Has 3 sacks, 2 FFs & 2 PD is past 2. DT GENO ATKINS has 42.5 sacks since 2011, most by NFL DT. Atkins & LB VONTAZE BURFICT each had sack in 10/6/13 meeting. DE WILL CLARKE has sack in 3 of past 4. CB ADAM JONES is only active player with 2+ INT-TDs (2) & 5+ PR-TDs (5) in career. Had 81-yard PR-TD vs. NE on 12/31/06 (with Ten.)…PATRIOTS:  Incl. playoffs, have won 27 of past 30 at home…QB TOM BRADY has won 5 of 6 starts vs. Cin. & has 12 TDs, 3 INTs for 101.2 rating. Has 5 games with 2+ pass TDs vs. Cin. & 4 games with 100+ rating. Incl. postseason, Brady is 112-18 (.862) at home as starter. Passed for 406 yards & 3 TDs for 127.7 rating last week…RB LE GARRETTE BLOUNT ties for 3rd in NFL with 5 rush TDs. Ranks 4th in AFC with 389 rush yards…Since 2010, TE ROB GRONKOWSKI has 65 rec. TDs, most in NFL. In past 15 at home (incl. playoffs), has 15 rec. TDs. TE MARTELLUS BENNETT had career-high 3 TD catches last week. Has 284 catches since 2012, 4th most by TE. WR JULIAN EDELMAN has 7 rec. TDs in past 13. WR CHRIS HOGAN had 1st career 100-yard game (114) last week…LB JAMIE COLLINS has 3 sacks, 2 INTs & FF in past 6 (incl. playoffs). DT MALCOLM BROWN had 2 sacks last week. DE JABAAL SHEARD has 3 sacks in past 3. CB MALCOLM BUTLER has 19 PD since 2015, most on team.

Bengals Can’t Stop Elliott; Fall to Cowboys in Dallas 28-14


Ezekiel Elliott ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns, fellow rookie Dak Prescott threw for a score and ran for another TD, and the Cowboys beat the Bengals 28-14 on Sunday.

Prescott had his first turnover in five games starting in place of injured Tony Romo, a fumble when being sacked late in the third quarter. But Prescott extended his NFL rookie record to 155 passes without an interception to start his career. He completed 18 of 24 passes for 227 yards.

Elliott, on only 15 carries, became the first Cowboys rookie with three consecutive 100-yard rushing games.

Dallas (4-1) has won four in a row. The Bengals (2-3) already have a losing record a year after being 8-0 midway through the season.

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Bet On The Bengals To Make The Playoffs

Entering the 2016 NFL season, the Cincinnati Bengals, who won 12 games last year, were viewed as AFC contenders. At 2-2 through their first four games of the campaign, that notion hasn’t entirely changed.

It’s become clear, however, that re-reaching last season’s peak won’t be easy.


For starters, the Bengals’ passing offense isn’t what it was in 2015. Last year’s rushing attack was so strong that it balanced out any aerial misgivings. This year’s rushing attack, still headlined by backs Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill, hasn’t yet reached last season’s eminent heights. The Bengals are struggling to get anything going in the air, largely due to their current troubles on the ground. Their strained running production makes them easier to defend, which has, in turn, left their passing approach to devolve into a risky game of dependence on A.J. Green.

Losing offensive coordinator Hue Jackson to the Cleveland Browns, whom he is the head coach for, isn’t helping matters. His blocking schemes appear to have been different, and thus more effective, which might help explain the tough stretch Cincinnati’s backfield is enduring. On top of that, tight end Tyler Eifert continues to recover from offseason surgery on his left ankle. His replacement, C.J . Uzomah doesn’t carry the same cachet at the position, which helps opposing defenses a great deal.

Still, the Bengals’ slow start isn’t enough to really doubt them. They are tied for the 12th-best Super Bowl odds (+2500) and are tied for fifth in AFC Championship chances (+1200), but their stock is on its way up, owed in no small part to the schedule.

Just two of their remaining 12 games come against teams with top-10 Super Bowl odds: The New England Patriots (+375), and the Pittsburgh Steelers (+900). They fell to the Steelers in Week 2, but the game was played on the road and they managed to remain within striking distance. Suffice to say the Patriots tilt, which will feature Tom Brady, is the only one Cincy truly has to fear.

In the grand scheme of things, though, the Bengals need to focus on winning the AFC North Division. That’s the most surefire way to punch a playoff ticket.


Currently, with one quarter of the season in the books they’re in third place, behind the 3-1 Steelers and the surprisingly 3-1 Baltimore Ravens (+2500). While that could be some cause for concern, it really isn’t.

Yes, the Bengals already fell to the Steelers but Pittsburgh’s offense has been inconsistent until
Week 4 and the Bengals are, at the very least, on equal footing with them—something that will come to light more once Eifert, who remains quarterback Andy Dalton’s second-favorite target, returns to action.

As for the Ravens, well, the Bengals have better Super Bowl odds for a reason. Baltimore’s offense still isn’t good. It ranks 24th in points scored per game to Cincinnati’s 23rd, but unlike Cincy’s scoring machine, it lacks the available personnel to improve as the season goes on.

That puts all the pressure to win on the Ravens’ defense, which ranks among the top five of points allowed per game thus far. And that’s fine when you’re facing rebuilding teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars (+20000) and Cleveland Browns (+100000), or fringe-playoff squads like the Buffalo Bills (+7500), but the Ravens’ schedule is going to get tougher.

Baltimore has two games remaining against each of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, will play the Patriots once and must also face off with understatedly talented teams like the New York Giants (+3300), Oakland Raiders (+4000) and Philadelphia Eagles (+2200). The Ravens will actually close the season with games against the Patriots, Eagles, Steelers and Bengals. That doesn’t bode well for their chances. More good news for the Bengals.

Cincinnati, by comparison, wraps up its year against the Browns, Steelers, Houston Texans (+3300) and, obviously, the Ravens. And that bodes exponentially well for its chances, should its playoff hopes come down to the wire.

Despite their slow start to the year, it’s easy to still consider the Bengals viable AFC threats. Their schedule doesn’t work against them, and they’re working with largely the same group that won 12 contests just one year ago. Their biggest offseason loss was No. 2 wideout Mohamed Sanu, who signed with the Atlanta Falcons, and his absence won’t seem like such a big deal when Eifert finally takes the field.


More than that, the AFC is still begging for a true contender outside the reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos (+1200) and Patriots. The Steelers are of some concern, but the rest of the competitive field isn’t booming with proven options.

The Kansas City Chiefs (+2000) have been maddeningly inconsistent on offense, more so than usual; the Raiders are young; the Texans’ offense ranks second to last in points per game for the year, and its defense just lost J.J. Watt; and the Ravens, as previously outlined, are mostly innocuous.

That leaves you free to take the Bengals’ Super Bowl and AFC championship odds as they are. They remain a wild card play on either front—as in, just behind the Broncos and Patriots. And, under the circumstances, that’s a pretty great place to be.