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Bengals won’t obsess over matchup with Steelers

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CINCINNATI — Coach Marvin Lewis deflected any notion that the Cincinnati Bengals would spend more time than usual working during the bye week with a game against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers looming Nov. 1.

He said that game is no more important than the rest, although fans might disagree. Instead, the unbeaten Bengals will use the week off to evaluate.

“We have a lot of improvement to make,” Lewis said. “It’s a good opportunity to look at ourselves, refocus and repoint and look forward.”

–Cincinnati is 6-0 for just third time in franchise history, the others coming in 1988 and 1975. The Bengals never started a season 7-0.

–Cornerback Darqueze Dennard recorded his first career interception Sunday when he picked off an EJ Manuel pass in the first quarter. The second-year player out of Michigan State got the start in place of Leon Hall, who was inactive due to a back injury. Dennard said Hall and veteran Adam Jones have helped keep him focused on improving even with limited playing time.

“They know what kind of player I can be,” Dennard said. “They always push me, try to make me better. You never know when your number’s going to be called. Leon and Adam do a great job motivating me.”

–The lone blemish on the impressive road win at Buffalo was when linebacker Vincent Rey was carted off the field with an ankle injury. He returned to the sideline in uniform and under his own power but did not re-enter the game. Rey leads the team with 57 tackles, including 35 solo, and would be a significant loss for Cincinnati’s defense. The bye week comes at a good time for Rey and other banged-up Bengals.

“We’ve got some guys who are bumped and bruised,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “It’s a good chance to get them healed.”

–Defensive end Michael Johnson left Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury after recording four tackles and a quarterback hit. Through six weeks, Johnson had 16 tackles and one sack.


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