By. Michael Vislosky
In arguably the craziest football game I have seen in my 28 years on this earth, the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the wild card round of the NFL playoffs. That was not a mistake what I said just now, the Bengals did defeat the Bengals. They fought all the way back after being down 15 to 0 heading to the 4th quarter only to put on the most disgraceful display of sportsmanship I have ever seen.
Up 16 to 15 the Bengals intercepted back up quarterback Landry Jones who was replacing injured Ben Roethlisberger. On the very next play running back Jeremy Hill fumbled after picking up 9 yards. The Steelers then got the ball just past midfield, and that’s when everything went crazy. On first down, Roethlisberger, who came back into the game, threw a pass intended for Antonio Brown, and Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict knocked out Brown. The hit was horrible, it looked as if he was intending to injure Brown. That’s only where the crazy began. Adam Jones then received a unsportsmanlike penalty after getting into it with linebackers coach Joey Porter. Without running a play, the Steelers gained 30 yards, kicked a field goal and won the game 18 to 16.
This game was chippy from the start. These two teams have a history that goes back many years, but that does not excuse what took place. The Bengals lost their minds, plain and simple. A franchise that has not won a playoff game in 25 years showed why they haven’t. Watching it happen in front of my eyes I was speechless. Coach Marvin Lewis seemed to have absolutely no control of his team. In my opinion, I think there is a chance that Marvin Lewis may have coached his last game as Bengals head coach. A team with a coach in control, does not display what the Bengals showed on national TV. Suspensions will come from this. Vontaze Burfict will miss time next year, that is not a question.
The Steelers who let this game slip away, pulled it out in the end, but it came at a price. Who knows right now if Ben Roethlisberger will play next week, but I will be shocked if Antonio Brown plays. He could barley walk off the field after the hit, and it was amazing that he was even able to get up. After all the dust settles, this game could change a lot of things for these two teams.