Burfict’s return from ejection both ‘weak’ and strong

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 19: Running back C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos fumbles the ball as he is hit by outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth quarter of a game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 19, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 19: Running back C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos fumbles the ball as he is hit by outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth quarter of a game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 19, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

After playing middle linebacker the last three games – or two and a half if you factor in last week's ejection – Vontaze Burfict returned to his regular weakside spot Sunday with a strong performance in the Cincinnati Bengals' 20-17 victory at Denver.

Burfict recorded 12 tackles, one shy of his season high, with a sack and a forced fumble.

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“It was what he needed to do,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said of Burfict on the postgame radio show. ‘Settle down and play 60 minutes of football.”

The sack, one of three the Bengals registered against Denver quarterback Brock Osweiler, came on the first play after the two-minute warning in the first half with the Broncos at the Cincinnati 45, forcing a punt.

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The forced fumble came with the Bengals clinging to a 13-10 lead in the fourth quarter. Burfict’s hit on Denver running back C.J. Anderson popped the ball free, and safety Shawn Williams recovered it at the Broncos 44.

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Six plays later, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton hit A.J. Green for an 18-yard touchdown that boosted the lead to 20-10 with 8:56 to go.

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