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Bengals no longer a secret in the NFL

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, Nov. 16, 2009
 

Cincinnati guard Bobbie Williams cherishes the fact the Bengals aren't being mentioned among the top teams in the NFL. But after sweeping the two teams that were in the AFC Championship Game a year ago within the first 10 weeks of the season, Williams is afraid that may be impossible now.

"I think we might be peaking up on people's radar now," Williams said. "But let's keep it quiet. We like nobody talking about us. Let them keep questioning us, so we can stay under the radar."

• Overlooking the Bengals might be difficult to do. They have a one-game lead in the AFC North over the Steelers with games against oft-beaten Oakland, Cleveland, Detroit and Kansas City left on the schedule.

"This football team has to keep its head down and play football every Sunday and if we continue to play hard and focused, that is all that matters whether the rest of the league respects us or not," Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said.

• The only teams in the NFL with a better record than the Bengals (7-2) are Minnesota, Indianapolis and New Orleans.

"We have to prove ourselves every week until we get the respect that we deserve," wide receiver Chad Ochocinco said. "I don't think we will get that until we get to Miami (site of Super Bowl XLIV)."

• Jonathan Fanene had 3.5 sacks through the first eight games. He had two in the first half against the Steelers.

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