The Bengals have now experienced two stints of being the “it” team this NFL season, and both instances occurred after convincing victories over the Ravens. The national recognition has to be rewarding for a young, upstart team that hasn’t finished above .500 since 2015. 

But now the Bengals are jockeying for playoff-seed positioning, and the Chiefs are coming to town. They’re a little less friendly than Santa. Of course, when playing Kansas City — in each of the past three seasons and over the past two months — the name of the game is simply trying to outscore Patrick Mahomes and Co. And the magic number is probably 30 points. 

Yet we have seen the Chiefs struggle offensively mostly in September in October. And altogether, it’s not been an offense clicking at the normal Mahomesian rate. So defensive stops — multiple — seem realistic against Kansas City now. The Bengals don’t have to simply settle for a shootout. 

And calling upon practice squad defenders for a date with the Chiefs is not recommended, but if the Bengals do need more quickness and instinctive play at the linebacker spot, they have one of my former draft crushes available.

Tegray Scales was actually one of my first draft crushes when I started at CBS Sports. Entering the 2017 college football season — my first with the company — I watched Scales’ film from a 2016 campaign in which he amassed 125 total tackles, 24 tackles for loss, seven sacks, with a pick and a forced fumble. 

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