The NFL Playoffs reached new lows on Saturday when the nation had to endure Brian Hoyer leading my Houston Texans down the proverbial throne and ending a magical season. It was a season that saw the Texans fight back, but their immeasurable success had little if anything to do with Hoyer. He was the goat — not the GOAT — and hopefully took his last snap in Texans gear.
Thankfully, we have Vontaze Burfict, Marvin Lewis and Adam Jones who made the nation forget just how bad Hoyer’s performance was.
Let me start by making it clear that I didn’t have a rooting interest in this game at all. I am an unbiased NFL fan who watched a horrific display of discipline (or lack thereof) by a football team who deserved to lose that game.
Burfict has always been like this, so nothing last night is surprising. He has been a lunatic since college, when he was arguably the best linebacker in the nation at ASU. His own coach had to bench him because of the amount of person fouls he had. Burfict has all the talent in the world — and could legitimately be the best linebacker in the NFL if he would just play the game — but he is just a terrible person on the field.
The 25-year old has been fined over $100K. It has been proven that he attempts to injure players and take them out of the game, as he did in the Greg Olsen and Cam Newton ankle twisting incident. To say that the final seconds of last night’s game were surprising is asinine.
Bengals fans immediately pointed to the Ryan Shazier hit on Giovani Bernard, saying that it was a bad call and he should have been flagged. This just shows that the mentality of “he did it first” is perfectly acceptable amongst the Bengals organization and their fanbase — a fanbase that threw water bottles at an injured Ben Roethlisberger as he was carted off the field.
They have a point, Shazier’s hit was questionable, but at the end of the day, it was no where near what Burfict did. Shazier was already charging at Bernard to make a stop, Bernard turned around at the precise time that Shazier lunged at him, and it was a vicious, helmet-to-helmet hit. Missed call, perhaps, but if Bernard was still backwards, Shazier makes a clean hit. There was no ill will behind Shazier’s hit.
You want to complain about missed calls? How about the fact that William Gay was flagged for dancing, but at the end of the game, Burfict intercepted a ball, ran 70 YARDS off the field and all the way down the tunnel to the locker room. That my friends, is a delay of game. It is also a personal foul for celebrating if dancing after a touchdown is. The Bengals got away with their fair share as well.
I actually felt bad for Pacman Jones. That call with the Joey Porter stuff at the end of the game was very questionable. But then he went on a tirade like a four-year old child on Instagram (which has since been deleted — don’t worry, it’s still right here for you to see) and looked like the punk that he has tried so hard to mature from and no longer be.
He then accused Antonio Brown of flopping on Burfict’s inexplicable, absolutely deplorable, 100% dirty play of flopping. FLOPPING! Seriously, read it here.
How can someone be so blind? Even if Brown got right up, the hit was dirty. You don’t have to be injured to be targeted, so those statements are completely irrelevant. The ball had passed Brown, the play was over and Burfict came in and nailed him. End of story Pacman. You went from being the guy that people were going to sympathize with to a villain… and you did it to yourself.
Jones may have gotten the bum end of the deal, but the way he handled himself seems to be the standard that the Bengals have set for their bad apples. There are good guys on the Bengals roster — I like Gio, I love A.J. Green, and I am a big Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert fan, they are just fun to watch — but the bad always outshines the good.
This has to cost Marvin Lewis his job. This is a complete breakdown in discipline. Burfict was starting with the Steelers all night. Every time he was on the Steelers sidelines their was jawing going on. When he ran that ball into the locker room, if Lewis had any set of cojones, he would have told him to stay in there. “You’ve done enough, Vontaze, your day is done.”
Instead, one of the most overrated running backs in the NFL (sorry, Jeremy Hill, but you aren’t that good) fumbles away the victory, and Burfict will go down as the goat, with Pacman adding the cherry on top.
Again, the Steelers were no saints in this game. This rivalry has always been full of its cheap shots and scuffles. But at the end of the day, we saw more from the Bengals. We saw a team start a fight at midfield with the Steelers while Gio was knocked out on the field. We saw a blatant target by one of the league’s dirtiest players. And we saw a fan base chuck water bottles at an injured opponent.
But again, I thank you Cincy. At least no one is talking about how awful Brian Hoyer was.