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Marvin Lewis: They flagged Burfict’s hit to the head, but not others

during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Getty Images

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was careful not to blame the officials for his team’s loss to the Steelers on Saturday night. But Lewis didn’t hide the fact that he saw some inconsistency in the officiating.

In particular, Lewis noted that Vontaze Burfict was called for an incredibly costly penalty on a hit that gave Steelers receiver Antonio Brown a concussion, while Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was not flagged for a hit that gave Bengals running back Giovani Bernard a concussion.

“He’s trying to go over and defend the play. There were a lot of plays out there and calls went different ways,” Lewis said. “They deemed that to be a hit to the head I guess, and others not today.”

The Shazier hit was brutal, but the officials ruled that it was not a penalty. Although Bernard had already established himself as a runner and was not a defenseless receiver on the play, some thought Shazier should have been penalized for leading with the crown of his helmet. A penalty would have had a major impact on the game, as it would have wiped out Bernard’s fumble on the play. Steelers fans also have a complaint with the officials on the play, as Shazier picked up the ball and would have run to the end zone had the officials not wrongly blown the play dead.

Neither team was completely happy with the officials in this game. But both teams made it a tough game for the officials to handle.

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191 Responses to “Marvin Lewis: They flagged Burfict’s hit to the head, but not others”
  1. jr4real says: Jan 10, 2016 8:38 AM

    Omg. Crybaby.

  2. PATRIOTSDYNASTYLIVES says: Jan 10, 2016 8:40 AM

    Im tired of everyone belly aching about this game…Im no big fan of either team but the bottom line is the Steelers found a way to win while the Bengals give everyone more reason to question them again even more…….Man up

  3. nhpats says: Jan 10, 2016 8:41 AM

    Get control of your players Marv.

  4. logicalvoicepft says: Jan 10, 2016 8:42 AM

    In the words of Vincent Kennedy McMahon, Life sucks and then you die! Yourrrrrrrrrr’e FIIIRRRRREEEEEDDDDDD!

  5. stevedenetz says: Jan 10, 2016 8:43 AM

    no horse in the race but we are talking 2 completely different hits. shazier’s hit was on a runner in possession of the ball and feet on the ground, plus he was wrapping Bernard up with his arm and the hit was aimed at his chest. burflict hit a defenseless player after the ball had passed him. when coach lewis, who I respect, gets a chance to sit and see both hits, he will realize why the plays were called as they were.

  6. ronnyw9 says: Jan 10, 2016 8:44 AM

    Burfict played like an idiot, definitely a penalty. But the NFL apparently thinks you can hit a guy in the head when he establishes self as a runner is so hypocritical. Shazier was headhunting, Not a fan of either team but put some blame where it goes. The NFL needs to reexamine their rules and make these refs full time workers. This year has been a travesty with blown calls, unclear rules and games lost by poor refereeing.

  7. floratiotime says: Jan 10, 2016 8:44 AM

    Because they’re the Bungles … and they’re one-and-done as always. Buh bye.

  8. 3rdngoal says: Jan 10, 2016 8:45 AM

    How does that guy and half the team still have a job? I think if he was white he would have been fired a long time ago.

  9. scoocha says: Jan 10, 2016 8:45 AM

    What do you expect, he is one of the worst playoff coaches ever. Bengals bungled a game they had maybe 5% chance of losing and now he is trying to save his job. Maybe Bengals could hire a coach solely for playoffs.

  10. margoadams says: Jan 10, 2016 8:46 AM

    Feel bad for Lewis but he needs to go. He’s an enabler.

  11. Deb says: Jan 10, 2016 8:47 AM

    Coach Whine-A-Lot is back at it. They didn’t flag Burfict’s hit on Roethlisberger, pal. How about you stop coaching your players to head-hunt? Isn’t this guy’s 15 minutes up yet?

  12. lgw91s says: Jan 10, 2016 8:47 AM

    Marvin, I think everyone deemed it a hit to the head.

  13. touchdownelvis says: Jan 10, 2016 8:48 AM

    I thought the Shazier hit should’ve been a penalty. But having said that, the Bengals didn’t even wake up and start playing until that moment, and they spent the rest of the game so emotionally geeked up that they were straddling the line between genius and madness. That’s what got them to the brink of victory, and that’s what snatched it away from them. As a neutral observer hoping that both teams would knock the slobber out of one another, I was not disappointed.

  14. mp4pack says: Jan 10, 2016 8:50 AM

    I actually was rooting for the Bengals after the Shazier play and his celebratory dancing while a guy lay motionless on the field. The Bengals and their fans flushed that goodwill down the crapper in a hurry. An ugly display by both teams. Guess it’s a win for Karma that one team is done and the other likely will be in a week with their two beat players likely out.

  15. ebdug says: Jan 10, 2016 8:51 AM

    After ten years of this bonehead’s goofy rule changes, he hasn’t reduced the number of hits or concussions. He’s only increased the number of games determined by officials.

  16. vermverm says: Jan 10, 2016 8:52 AM

    Would have won if Burfect would have stayed in that tunnel.

  17. whocares69 says: Jan 10, 2016 8:52 AM

    The hit on Gio Bernard should have been flagged. (Refs in pocket) Look it up.
    The Coach (Joey Porter) should have been flagged (Refs in pocket) Look it up.

    Funny how the Bengals are being portrayed as dirty players, the Steelers have been getting away with this for years, but finally when someone to decided to give it back to ’em, they get the flagged and given the game.

    #NFL is fixed

  18. killitandeatit says: Jan 10, 2016 8:52 AM

    Another play off “win” for the Stealers. The officials always seem to be there when it counts… for the Stealers.

  19. dreadnok89 says: Jan 10, 2016 8:53 AM

    No reason at all to hit brown like at all. Ball was way overthrown and no where near him

  20. clashpoint says: Jan 10, 2016 8:54 AM

    There were no shortage of calls against the Steelers who had 10 penalties for 140+ yards, far more than the Bengals until the Cincinnati meltdown. If you saw the game, the Bengals players were riding the refs all game long, and if anything, the refs were giving the home team the better calls.

    Those last two penalties were obvious. Burfict hit Brown late and after the play and he alternatively could have been flagged for targeting. Jones touched a ref during his stupid tantrum. So get over it, fix the problems, and wait until next year.

    Go Steelers!

  21. pats555 says: Jan 10, 2016 8:55 AM

    Absolutely no accountability.

  22. 315judman says: Jan 10, 2016 8:58 AM

    This game had a “Burfict ending”

  23. loriann1 says: Jan 10, 2016 8:58 AM

    Bengals fans should be ashamed of themselves. They need to get rid of a lot of bad players on their team.

  24. donbaseball says: Jan 10, 2016 8:58 AM

    Lot of tough guys on here! Steelers have been playong dirty for 30 years. But media loves them because the masses of bottom dwellers love them. If I looked at my life and realized I suported the steelers, I would probably end it.

  25. stinkymcmulligan says: Jan 10, 2016 9:00 AM

    Bengals=Disgrace

  26. joel418 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:00 AM

    The performance of both teams was disgraceful (a coach pulling a player’s hair, is this third grade???), but I have to agree with Lewis on this one. One of the very first types of hits to be declared illegal in the 90s was the type used by Shazier: when you lead with the crown of your head and make helmet-to-helmet contact, that is supposed to supersede all questions of defenselessness. Bad calls in both directions, and I think Lewis should be fired for his inability to control his players, but as a spectator, I did think that some of the calls against the Bengals were based on “guilt by reputation,” rather than an even-handed approach to officiating.

  27. mrosas73 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:00 AM

    Bengals are going to have to pull a Dungy if they ever want to win a playoff game.

  28. gmen32 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:01 AM

    Not a fan of either of these teams, but if that
    hit from Ryan Shazier was not a penalty in
    today’s NFL, I sure as heck don’t know what is.
    That is the problem with the league today, the inconsistency of calls. I have seen MUCH LESS get flagged. Did he not use the crown of his helmet?

  29. relggigeht says: Jan 10, 2016 9:01 AM

    Blaming the refs? Marvin Lewis is a bum. But, as a Steelers fan, I hope he keeps his job….Ha!

  30. clashpoint says: Jan 10, 2016 9:02 AM

    3rdngoal says:
    Jan 10, 2016 8:45 AM
    How does that guy and half the team still have a job? I think if he was white he would have been fired a long time ago.

    Stupidest comment I’ve seen here in a long time, especially considering the league has mostly black players and mostly white coaches. How does Fisher of the Rams keep his job every year? That guy doesn’t even make the playoffs, and across his long long career, usually doesn’t. At least Lewis gets to dance every year.

  31. Cavs2016NBAWorldChampions says: Jan 10, 2016 9:02 AM

    Of Course, the refs are always on the Steelers payroll. They always hit after the whistle and its never called, yet another team does it and out come the flags. No I’m not a Bengal fan, I just call it like I see it.

    How is Joey Porter not flagged for being on the field.? They did that purposely to inflame the Bengals. That guy is nothing but a trash talker, and Antonio Brown isnt a defensive player so save he was checking on his player non-sense.

  32. reddzen says: Jan 10, 2016 9:02 AM

    3rdngoal says:
    Jan 10, 2016 8:45 AM
    How does that guy and half the team still have a job? I think if he was white he would have been fired a long time ago.

    —-

    You’re an idiot, and stop making everything about race. It just shows your abject ignorance. Last I checked Lovie Smith tripled his win total from last year, got fired, and was black.

    Marvin Lewis – and I am no fan of the Bungles – is still there strictly because he goes to the playoffs, consistently, and year after year. Most – read it – most don’t have that kind of record. You get to the playoffs it’s a different season, different game. Maybe he doesn’t deserve to stay, but it has nothing to do with race you moron.

  33. rpreisch says: Jan 10, 2016 9:02 AM

    How can a Steeler coach be in the huddle (baiting) of the other team? Shouldn’t that have been a penalty for leaving coaching box. He won the game for them!

  34. factman1000 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:03 AM

    Lead with crown of helment. Should have been penalty. Too bad Jeff fisher and the rest of the competition committee voted against challenging everything. The outcome of the playoffs has been totally changed.

  35. quinzze says: Jan 10, 2016 9:04 AM

    The best part was Burfects face after his pick ( that should have sealed the game) he looked like a gorilla that just became the Alfa male of the jungle… Then the look on his face after the game was like a five year old that just got caught trashing the walls with a magic marker. Priceless.

  36. oruacat2 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:04 AM

    “both teams do it”

    The other team has to “do it” when playing the Steelers, otherwise your players get headhunted with impunity.

    “both teams do it” isn’t the problem – it’s “both teams do it, but one team consistently gets away with it” that’s the problem.

    The refs lost control of this game when they didn’t flag Shazier for the dirty hit on Bernard after flagging the Williams hit on Wheaton.

  37. vikingjack73 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:06 AM

    Lewis needs to be fired and Burfict & Jones need to be cut!!

    That will send clear messages to the rest of the team
    Lewis has had PLENTY of chances to prove he is a worthy playoff coach & has failed every time

    Plus those two d-bags are consistently embarrassing that franchise!
    Time to go, boys! You have all worn out your welcome!

  38. themikegun says: Jan 10, 2016 9:06 AM

    Dean Blandino was going to make sure his office was in constant communication with the field officials to get the plays right.

    How’s that working out?

  39. zackd2 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:06 AM

    Bengals is a penalty because they’re the Bungals.
    Steelers is a clean hit because Classy franchise, clean players and coaches.

    Lol. How many coaches going after players will it take before NFL takes action?

  40. shaggytoodle says: Jan 10, 2016 9:09 AM

    The worse part of the Shazier hit is you can see him and 41 kind of squatting down doing dance moves near midfield when that scuffle breaks out after his hit…. while a player is laid out on the field. Marvin players may have been out of line, but between the way Shazier and some of Pitts coaches were acting they probably lost some respect around the league.

    Neither team can talk about the others lack of class they both looked pitiful in that department last night.

  41. rutledge3197 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:10 AM

    PATRIOTSYNASTYLIVES :: you say your tired as of your post it was only 10 hours after the game… However if it was your sorry a** team you’d be whinning just like Tammy… Your time, I E karma is on it’s way…. People like you are why others will cheer if it was Brady last night instead of Brown

  42. sopadegato says: Jan 10, 2016 9:10 AM

    Shazier didn’t fly in from halfway across the field and purposely lower his head to blast a guy that clearly wasn’t even close to having possession of a ball.

    Bernard ducked into a hit that would’ve hit him in the chest otherwise. Brown was entirely defenseless.

  43. rastanati says: Jan 10, 2016 9:13 AM

    Undeniable facts that this game confirmed:
    1. The Bengals have a lot of heart but play undisciplined which results in officiating crews looking for infractions. They lost there composure and it cost them the game.
    2. The officiating was awful as it has been in many other games this year.
    3. Pittsburgh is the dirtiest team in the NFL. It starts att he top with Tomlinson who promotes this stuff. I have never seen an NFL game where coaches were directly involved with 2 personal fouls. Munchkin pulls Nelsons hair on sideline and Porter on field berating Bengals players. On top of that, Porter was awarded game ball in locker room.

    Bengals lost their composure and lost to a classless organization. Disappointing end to a great season!

  44. tdubdizzle says: Jan 10, 2016 9:13 AM

    Fire him. He doesn’t learn from his mistakes.

    Classless.

  45. pacodawg says: Jan 10, 2016 9:14 AM

    Marv totally lost control of his players. You can’t win the big one with unstable players like burfect and pacman. They should not even have been on the fired. Marvin looks spent, I think he’s done.

  46. evrybdyhas1 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:14 AM

    Do not like either team especially the Steelers but do respect the Steelers and their coach. After that remark from Marvin Lewis I have no respect for him. The hit from Burfict was after the play and deliberate to do bodily harm. Antonio Brown could have suffered a severe spinal cord injury. The coaches response explains everything about his playoff record. Last night was an embarrassment to football, sportsmanship and society in general. It just so happened with the game on the line. For the coach to not accept responsibility and blame the referees is sickening. I have two words for Marvin Lewis “you’re fired” The NFL and the Bengals would be better off.

  47. doni609 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:14 AM

    They get what they deserve in Cincinnati. The fans are just as big a bunch of dirtbags as their team. Never have I seen booing and throwing things at a injured player as he is carted off the field. A true display of sportsmanship, not! These classless people and their renegade team will always be losers.

  48. flash1287 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:15 AM

    Like I said….

    WHO DEY? A team nobody fears come playoff time.

    Dirt ball team, dirt ball fans! Throwing stuff at a player as he is being carted off.

  49. stew48 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:15 AM

    Burfict has been given way too much leeway—-by his team. His problem, while different, is every bit as significant as Manziel’s.

  50. grogansheroes says: Jan 10, 2016 9:16 AM

    ronnyw9 says:
    Jan 10, 2016 8:44 AM
    Burfict played like an idiot, definitely a penalty. But the NFL apparently thinks you can hit a guy in the head when he establishes self as a runner is so hypocritical. Shazier was headhunting, Not a fan of either team but put some blame where it goes. The NFL needs to reexamine their rules and make these refs full time workers. This year has been a travesty with blown calls, unclear rules and games lost by poor refereeing.

    ————————————————
    When a person is a runner, they have a chance to protect themselves. When a guy has his back to the player and is jumping for the ball, he has no chance to protect himself.
    When you’re tackling a runner, both guys lower their shoulders, and heads, and you have these collisions.
    It reminds me of the hit Pollard put on Ridley a few years back in the AFCC game. Wasn’t called then either.
    As far as the rules being unclear, I’m with you on that.

  51. peterb21 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:17 AM

    Okay, Maybe the Shazier hit was a penalty that was missed ,BUT there was NO question Burfict’s hit was a penalty. So Vontae launched himself thinking they didn’t call the Shazier hit so I can do this..Please..He was trying to knock Brown out…The intention was crystal clear..Brown was semi conscious or unconscious the second he was hit..So VB succeeded, but it cost his team the game..

  52. fc187 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:17 AM

    It’s always someone else’s fault.
    They hurt our QB.
    The refs blew calls.
    The sun was in our eyes.

    I’m tired of his whining.
    They lost because they are an undisciplined team.

  53. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 10, 2016 9:18 AM

    Earlier this week I warned Bungal trolls that Burfict would cost them a game sooner or later…..glad it was sooner. His intent was to injure and Marvin sees nothing wrong…? Must be Marvins Raven roots….he needs to go.

  54. mrlaloosh says: Jan 10, 2016 9:19 AM

    Who Dey? The STEELERS! That’s who…..

  55. snweber says: Jan 10, 2016 9:19 AM

    And here come the excuses !!!!!

  56. charger383 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:20 AM

    we will never know what calls were directed by headquarters in New York

  57. cup1981 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:22 AM

    The Shazier hit, while poor in form, was perfectly legal. For spearing to be called, the runner must be outside the tackle box AND beyond 3 yards of the LOS. While the first qualifier was clearly met, Bernardino got hit inside of 3 yards of the LOS. The no call was right.

  58. wimpyburgers says: Jan 10, 2016 9:22 AM

    Seemed to me that Shazier was making a classic tackle and Burfict was intentionally trying to stone Brown.

  59. mgm54 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:23 AM

    3rdngoal: TOO DAMN MUCH….get off that tip, you are gagging on it!!!!

  60. rbell2123 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:24 AM

    Why does NFL continue to let the pittsburgh coaches act like fools. Tomlin tripping a Baltimore kick returner anyone? NFL needs to fine Steelers owner for continuing to allow these coaches to ruin the NFL shield.

  61. rockinchox says: Jan 10, 2016 9:25 AM

    So because one call may have been missed, your team has the right to intentionally try to permanently injure another player?

    Stay as classy as your fans Marv. Teach your player about TEAM first and maybe Pac walks away instead of making sure the field goal is a chip shot. Poor play,coaching and all around self destruction. And I hate the Steelers and was pulling for you, until that play.

    Go Hawks

  62. smitty113 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:25 AM

    Lewis needs to be held accountable. Of course if he is Stephen A Smith will say it’s racist.

  63. blakeden says: Jan 10, 2016 9:27 AM

    Classy moves by some Cinn fans…Complete fools

  64. crazyaboutthepigskin says: Jan 10, 2016 9:27 AM

    All season long we’ve heard from the press on how the Bengals have matured, that they’re a team built to make a run in the playoffs, and that this year is different.

    Bill Parcels is correct – you are what you are and in this case the Bengals inability to get beyond the first round of the playoffs (again) is a commitment to mediocrity.

    Congratulations to the Steelers in gutting out a win.

  65. tellmeaboutitbaby says: Jan 10, 2016 9:27 AM

    Refs worked for the Bengals all night long – uncalled holding, cheap shots out of bounds, pushing after plays – Steelers were penalized more than the bungles even including the last penalty on Pacman. Cry me a river you whiny baby

  66. tedmurph says: Jan 10, 2016 9:28 AM

    There’s no doubt Shazier led with the crown of the helmet. Definitely a foul. Has nothing to do with defenseless anything. So was Burfict’s. Steelers made the plays at the end, while the Bengals made 3-4 epic end of game blunders. Not taking knees and maybe kicking a field goal, fumble, Burflict penalty(plenty of time to pull up instead of going for the kill shot) and Jones. Ridiculous. Granted Porter is not supposed to be on the field, especially being a LB coach checking on a WR, then talking trash, but Jones can’t go after him like that. Hope the Steelers can get Brown, Roethlisberger and Williams on the field next week. They’re gonna need them.

  67. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:28 AM

    Pair of very dirty teams.

  68. johnc44 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:29 AM

    stevedenetz says:
    Jan 10, 2016 8:43 AM

    no horse in the race but we are talking 2 completely different hits. shazier’s hit was on a runner in possession of the ball and feet on the ground, plus he was wrapping Bernard up with his arm and the hit was aimed at his chest. burflict hit a defenseless player after the ball had passed him. when coach lewis, who I respect, gets a chance to sit and see both hits, he will realize why the plays were called as they were.
    ————————————————————-
    Wheaton was running with the ball after the catch when #36 hit him with a shoulder in the chest clearly moving his head out of the way and it was still called.Joey Poeter wasn`t checking on Brown he came on the field cussing at players.A clear penalty.Watch #73 shove Burfict after the play right in front of the ref and the ref push Burfict away without saying or doing anything to #73.The refs gave Pittsburgh every 50/50 and every benefit of the doubt but lets be clear.Burfict won the game with a great pick.J.Hill gave it back with a play you just can`t let happen.He didn`t need to fight for 6 yards,His only job was holding onto the ball and game over.

  69. buckeye044 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:29 AM

    Shazier was not headhunting, the RB dropped his head.

    Marvin is not crying, he is answering a question.
    They should have taken Burfict out, but his job is to win games.

    Officials were terrible both ways and let it get way out of control. Early flags would have eliminated a lot of the late game activity.

  70. intrafinesse says: Jan 10, 2016 9:30 AM

    The coach is responsible for team discipline.
    Don’t just blame the players, the coach needs to lead or he’s not doing his job.
    This sort of crap would never happen under Belichick.

    When a player acts up, he is quickly benched.

  71. sudz28 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:31 AM

    Shazier hit: against an established runner with both players going low for the hit and unfortunate results for Bernard. I hope he’s well. No harm intended.

    Burfict hit (the one against Brown, I’ll leave the other dozens of dirty hits he’s famous for for another time): against a stretched out defenseless receiver after Burfict had already seen he didn’t catch the ball and intentionally going after his head for no reason.

    Sorry, two completely different plays with different intent. One clearly a penatly, and frankly should have been an ejection since it was only the latest of many dirty hits by Burfict.

  72. FoozieGrooler says: Jan 10, 2016 9:32 AM

    ..and here come the excuses…
    Waaaaahaaaaa.

  73. r502 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:32 AM

    Both teams made low down dirty plays throughout the game. The difference being that Pittsburgh put the BS away with the game on the line. Knuckleheads Jones and Burfict don’t care what the score is and how much time is left. The most hilarious part is watching those two appeal to the officials, like their reputation for idiocy never comes into the officials minds. Burfict being fined for dirty hits like the one on Roethlisberger a few weeks prior or Jones slamming Amari Coopers head into his helmet while sitting on his chest. These two numbskulls cannot help themselves, and the team and their fans finally get what they deserved having jerks like that on the roster. Serves ’em right.

  74. dandeman19 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:33 AM

    Yes the officials missed some calls like the hit on Bernard. But you lost the game at the end because you could not control your players

  75. PurpleRaid18 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:33 AM

    The Bengals absolutely deserved to lose that game. They played far beyond the whistle and repeatedly shot themselves in the proverbial foot. Not a playoff caliber team.

    That being said, I think the hit Marvin was referring to is the personal foul call that Iloka received for his hit on Wheaton. Refs said Wheaton was a defenseless receiver, but I remember watching that play and thinking it was nothing more than a legal bang-bang play. Iloka squared up and delivered a bigtime shot with his shoulder (not like Burfict) and Wheaton had already established himself as a runner (much like the Shazier hit on Bernard.) I think that was the “inconsistency” Lewis was referring to.

    But, again, the Bengals had numerous opportunities and they stupidly, and illegally threw it away.

  76. jschmus says: Jan 10, 2016 9:33 AM

    I cannot stand the steelers and tomlin. I was hoping the bengals could have pulled it out, but the refs had not control of that game on either side. Hopefully the broncos will play next week and end the season for the steelers.

  77. mborz says: Jan 10, 2016 9:33 AM

    Here’s why I think Lewis needs to go: The media gave him a perfect chance to call out Burfict for what he did to his team, and instead he used it to point out the missed call on the Shazier/Bernard hit.

    Forget about the missed call on Bernard . The Bengals overcame it (in fact it energized them) and were in a perfect position to win the game, and one of your players, who has had a long history of not being able to control himself, made a huge mistake and put the opposing team in field goal range with under 30 seconds to go in the game. Do you really not have anything to say about that?

  78. lp0320 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:33 AM

    For Marvin to whine about the calls is ridiculous … Phil Simms, who notoriously hates Pittsburgh, Mike Carey, who I respect as a commentator regarding the officiating, both called Shazier’s hit clean, according to the rule change that occurred a few years ago.

    Burfict clearly targeted Brown, who was clearly defenseless.

    However, as a Pittsburgh fan, I don’t condone Shazier dancing around on the sidelines after the hit. The player was down, obviously hurt, and it was classless on his part to do that.

    Much the same way Burfict danced around after he took out Bell and Roethlisberger earlier in the season.

  79. suncawy says: Jan 10, 2016 9:34 AM

    It shouldn’t surprise anyone how bad officials are because they can’t even figure out what a catch looks like. Both hits were to the helmet, Shazier’s was a helmet to helmet and Burfict almost was targeting. Now, if Brown plays next week against the Broncos then the NFL is screwing with players about concussions. There is no way Brown can pass the concussion protocol with a hit like that.

  80. dirtycallahan says: Jan 10, 2016 9:35 AM

    2013 Tomlin is fined 100K for coming onto the field during a kickoff. Last night coach Munchak gets a penalty. Porter comes onto the field and initiates with a bengal player.

    Both of these JV teams are out of control.

  81. djigel says: Jan 10, 2016 9:36 AM

    “stevedenetz says:
    Jan 10, 2016 8:43 AM
    no horse in the race but we are talking 2 completely different hits. shazier’s hit was on a runner in possession of the ball and feet on the ground, plus he was wrapping Bernard up with his arm and the hit was aimed at his chest.”

    Leading with the crown of the helmet is a penalty, personal foul, and something they are trying to get out of the league. This is a textbook definition of that penalty. The top of his head was used to hit the facemark of the player.

    Lewis comment bothers me in the sense that Burfict’s hit was seemingly ok since this one was missed? Both were penalties, both were dangerous, and both were dirty. Both were also bang-bang plays. Both could have made, and one did, have a significant impact on the final.

    The difference – one was called and one wasn’t. That doesn’t make them any worse in their own right. It is what it is – refs miss calls and it changes the outcome of the game – but one hit does not excuse the other and both have no place in today’s game.

  82. dynalee10 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:38 AM

    Plenty of blame to go around but I don’t understand why the Bungles running back wasn’t told to just go down three straight plays and that game was over . Situational football is what separates good coaches from great ones .

  83. laxer37 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:39 AM

    Marvin Lewis is as bad at reading the stat sheet as he is at controlling his players.

    Penalties:

    Steelers 10-142
    Bengals 8-79

    Facts would suggest the Refs weren’t favoring the Steelers.

  84. dumbaseinstien says: Jan 10, 2016 9:41 AM

    It’s simple Marvin…

    Shazier’s hit was legal.

    Burfict’s…well, again he proves he is more deserving of a jail cell than a job in the NFL.

  85. lion4ever26 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:41 AM

    Marvin is correct. The NFL is a sham. The hit on Bernard was illegal and it was illegal 20 years ago, hitting with the top of your helmet has been illegal for years. Helmet to helmet whatever it should have been called. How about Porter being in the middle of the field jaw jacking with the Cincinnati players. The referee who flagged Jones should be fired for not penalizing the steelers for having a coach on the field, the middle of the field. Just terrible once again, no one would have blinked an eye if the ref called off setting personal fouls on that play. When a ref makes a call that changes the outcome of the game when he has an out it just shows me that the on field officials need help. Mike Carrier CBS expert ref was horrible at his job when he reffed and it was obvious on the Bernard hit he was either covering for the officials who missed the call or he is just as ignorant as the refs on the field last night. The Bengals got robbed and that’s why their players were so emotional, shaizer led with the crown of his helmet and how they missed that call is a crime. Sorry steeler fans but that hit was blatant where Burfects wasn’t intentional and really wasn’t a direct helmet to helmet, he hit him with his shoulder pads.

  86. what3rd says: Jan 10, 2016 9:42 AM

    Why even have officials if they consistently miss and get wrong key plays in the game, especially, THAT crew. They screwed up the last game with these two teams letting it get out of control. As far as the NFL goes, we hat you allow, you promote. T h is is what they wantef.

  87. ravensfan56 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:43 AM

    NFL teams in Ohio are cursed.

  88. coolzog says: Jan 10, 2016 9:43 AM

    The officials called a playoff game in the Steelers favor? No, that never happens…lol

  89. Panda Claus says: Jan 10, 2016 9:44 AM

    Should be plenty of fines from this game. It may take until Tuesday for the league to sort it all out. If the fines don’t exceed $100,000 I’ll be disappointed.

    I also see suspensions for Burfict (obvious), Shazier (regardless of what the refs caught that was a crown of the helmet play) and the Steeler coach on the sideline.

    Too bad the fans can’t also be punished as well, other than to see their team lose in the most heartbreaking way possible. The refs deserve some blame for losing control of this game.

  90. footballfan says: Jan 10, 2016 9:46 AM

    It is very disappointing to hear all the Bengals fans blaming the loss on everyone but the guys on the field. But I guess after seeing them throw garbage at an injured player I should understand completely.

  91. glac1 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:47 AM

    Lewis should be fired.

  92. Panda Claus says: Jan 10, 2016 9:47 AM

    If Marvin Lewis is fired he should land in his feet. There are still some pretty good jobs open right now.

  93. evrybdyhas1 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:47 AM

    Note to Bengals: Tom Coughlin is available.

  94. sjm1717 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:47 AM

    How does this guy still have a job? He is the epitome of ineptitude…can’t even win a single playoff game. Terrible coach with and undisciplined dirty team is a recipe for failure.

  95. nhpats says: Jan 10, 2016 9:48 AM

    Bengals one and done……just as everyone expected.

  96. sidepull says: Jan 10, 2016 9:50 AM

    Let me sum this up for you:

    Life is not fair.

  97. crusty14 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:51 AM

    Where’s bonniebengal and dr.rustbelt? Must be hiding after the Steelers DESTROYED the bengals on their home turf!

  98. rmartin273 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:52 AM

    Not a fan of either team but an assistant coach cannot be allowed on the field to verbally bait opposing players. Joey Porter should have been tossed and the Steelers penalized 15 yards. That one is in the rules book and according to a Bengals player, was pointed out to the officials. Officiating in NFL games has been questionable for a long time but it seems this season they really don’t understand the rules.

  99. getyourownname says: Jan 10, 2016 9:54 AM

    I’ll agree the refs missed calls or didn’t flag the Steelers the way they should have, but the bottom line is the Bengals had control and stupidly, without thought as to game situation, gave it all up. You want to stop the crap, play smart enough to win to show up the bad guys, then make an issue of it with the League.

  100. brimmer928 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:59 AM

    Don’t forget when Bernard got hurt didn’t burfect and other defensive players run on field and start going after steeler players and there were no calls

  101. rpreisch says: Jan 10, 2016 10:01 AM

    Porter=MVP

  102. linemanguy74 says: Jan 10, 2016 10:05 AM

    If they hang on to the ball instead of fumbling game over ! Nobody to blame except themselves.

  103. cinzano08 says: Jan 10, 2016 10:05 AM

    Not a fan of either team but I hope Broncos send the dirtbag stealers coaches and players home next week with a blowout and embarrassment they deserve. They are the most disgusting, classless, d bag of a team in NFL.

  104. billytodd2013blbaad says: Jan 10, 2016 10:06 AM

    Ok Lewis, Shaziers hit was by the rules..a clean hit.. now his actions on the sideline were uncalled for and unprofessional. However the Burfict hit was not only illegal..it was intentional and was done with the purpose of injuring the player!

    Now as many others have stated, how this guy is still even a HC is a mystery, with so much talent to have got so little from it either he is just fortunate to have the most patient owners in the NFL as any other team would have fired him by now.

  105. grant35 says: Jan 10, 2016 10:09 AM

    I’ve watched the NFL for 40 yrs & have never seen such a maniac running around like Burfict. He’s a good player but, my God, how much of this guys intent to maim do you put up with? He celebrates a guys torn up knee (L.Bell), he goes after Ben’s knees, he is involved in every scrum, he tries to smash A.Brown in the head. This guy, as well as PacMan saying Brown faked it, need serious counseling. Marvin Lewis has absolutely no control of his players.

  106. tbizell says: Jan 10, 2016 10:25 AM

    i think if Vontaze really wanted to hit Brown and hurt him he would have really latex the wood to him. I think he tried to avoid the hit like Deion Sanders said.

  107. FoozieGrooler says: Jan 10, 2016 10:26 AM

    “Cincinnati, the results are in. Pittsburgh is your daddy.”
    – Maury

  108. ironyisadeadscene says: Jan 10, 2016 10:27 AM

    Vegas should put odds on which of these two (Burfict and Jones) gets arrested first this offseason.

    They screwed their own team by being jackasses. Congrats to Pitt….go Denver.

  109. donatocha33 says: Jan 10, 2016 10:30 AM

    It’s on you Marvin…. That was one classic implode there

  110. trollaikman8 says: Jan 10, 2016 10:33 AM

    I despise both teams but Shazier’s crown launched tackle was just as dirty as Burficts shoulder.

  111. thenameisredskins says: Jan 10, 2016 10:39 AM

    Not a fan of either of these teams. However, if the league is going to suspend Burfect, then both Steelers coaches, Porter and Munchak, should be suspended for the upcoming playoff game. And if Tomlin is found to have lied about a player on his team having a concussion (saying Brown has a concussion after his hit) then he should be fined, and suspended as well.

  112. patsfanscryalot says: Jan 10, 2016 10:40 AM

    Leave it to a pats fan to complain about officiating. Every weekend you have Scott zolak and the rest of the dynasty nation complaining about officiating. Look at the hit Williams gave wheaton. Then look at the hit on bernard. How is bernard a runner but wheaton is not. Wheaton is running and lowers his shoulder and helmet. And what is Joey cheap shot porter doing on the field. I’m a pats fan embarrassed by my fan base that complains about officiating that much. But of course can look at other clubs subjectively. Living in new england sucks bengals good screwed and I’m a pats fan in boston. Officiating I bad period

  113. arktikman says: Jan 10, 2016 10:42 AM

    I think Simms and Nance summed it up – disgraceful. Cincy players, fans and now coaches (from these remarks). Yes and I am sure they are Steelers fans.

    Too bad that Brown paid the price for that disgraceful play, but I am sure he would do it again for the same result. That’s what good players do – take one for the team and not do things selfishly. Bungles just don’t get it.

  114. coloboltfan says: Jan 10, 2016 10:46 AM

    Geez…and I thought it was bad being a Chargers fan….

  115. crusty14 says: Jan 10, 2016 10:46 AM

    Burfect tried to avoid the hit? That’s hilarious! Are you insane or just blind?

  116. thebirdofprey says: Jan 10, 2016 10:47 AM

    First I gotta say that was one of the biggest meltdowns in sports. The Bengals blew a sure playoff win with 3 major blunders. The fumble, Vontaze going for the headshot rather than 2 wins from getting to a Super Bowl, Pacman losing his mind at wrong time. Marvin Lewis doesn’t have control of this club and who the hell is the leader on their defense?

    The Steelers looked like idiots on that Shazier shot on the running back. In the NFL its allowed to lead with the crown of the helmet just because a guy has the football? After Bernard was knocked out – Steelers players and coaches were dancing on the sideline like disrespectful clowns.

  117. sammysushi says: Jan 10, 2016 10:50 AM

    Absolutely amazing that Bernard got knocked out cold and ZERO mention of his condition by CBS. Got to hear about Big Ben and Bryant right away, but still no mention of Bernard. So tired of the sycophantic love of the Steelers and Pats by the media. This is all Todd Bowles fault by losing last week.

  118. crusty14 says: Jan 10, 2016 10:51 AM

    Will you guys get off the Munchak thing! It was nothing, if the Bengal player didn’t have predator dreadlocks going on, there wouldn’t be anything to talk about! Steelers got a penalty, what more do you want?

  119. TheWizard says: Jan 10, 2016 10:52 AM

    Where’s bonniebengal and dr.rustbelt? Must be hiding after the Steelers DESTROYED the bengals on their home turf!

    You got em with their starting quarterback out. I wouldn’t squawk too much.

    From a hater of both teams, I think it’s probably a much different result with Dalton playing that game.

  120. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Jan 10, 2016 10:55 AM

    I certainly hope this defense of his players is for media consumption only and that behind the scenes inside the locker room he is tearing Burfict and Jones new ones for costing the Bengals a playoff win.

    If he actually believes what he said, he needs to be fired immediately.

  121. tedmurph says: Jan 10, 2016 10:56 AM

    Amazing how many people don’t understand a very simple rule. We’re not talking about the catch rule here. You Can Not Lead With The Crown Of The Helmet Outside The Tackle Box. PERIOD. Defenseless doesn’t matter. Being established as a runner doesn’t matter. The runner lowering his head into it doesn’t matter. Three yards doesn’t matter, it just defines the tackle box. Got it now? Sheesh.

  122. dolphins4 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:00 AM

    What always amazes me is how the NFL always caters the Steelers.

  123. rickybobbie says: Jan 10, 2016 11:01 AM

    “Act like you’ve been there before” – Paul Brown. You can argue missed calls and make any other excuse you can imagine. At the end both team’s player and coaches acted like they had never been there before. Both the pious Steeler fans and classless Bengal fans should be ashamed of how their teams represented their respective cities. I was looking forward to seeing a hard fought game between two good teams and instead witness more of a gang fight.

  124. tonebones says: Jan 10, 2016 11:02 AM

    Does it shock anyone that the two idiots that got the late penalties had ugly long hair?

  125. rankster1950 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:02 AM

    Real steelers don’t dance.

  126. openfieldtackle says: Jan 10, 2016 11:03 AM

    The Bengals will never win a SB! The franchise sucks and always will.

  127. dandeman19 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:04 AM

    That was NOT ABSOLUTELY NOT avoiding the hit. Brown was hurt.

  128. spoiledsport99 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:07 AM

    He’s right, don’t like either team but the Bengals got jobbed in that one. Gotta call it the same both ways. But I guess this kind of thing should be expected from the hacks/refs after seeing their consistently poor performance throughout the season.

  129. ravenmaniac1969 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:08 AM

    Porter and Munchak should be fined, but Cincy had every chance to win that game and blew it. The team and their fans need to man up.

  130. bobsnygiants says: Jan 10, 2016 11:09 AM

    🏈the refs blew it,🏈 pop warner league. 👎

  131. phillyphil005 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:10 AM

    Marvin Lewis refuses to demonstrate that you can’t be a knucklehead and get away with it. He’s let Pacman and Burfict play like idiots for years…no accountability then, and none now. His PC was a joke. I would be embarrassed if I was the owner.

    You hitched your wagon to and staked your reputation and job on Burfict and Pacman, Marvin, and you lost.

  132. peoplegoinahate says: Jan 10, 2016 11:11 AM

    Patsfanscryalot,there’s alot of crying in your post,you are what your name says

  133. gomez163 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:17 AM

    Also. Burfict and Jones? GET A HAIRCUT. YOU LOOK STOOPID.

  134. dabears7190 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:18 AM

    Clean up your own back yard before complaining about someone else’s.

  135. chawk12thman says: Jan 10, 2016 11:19 AM

    Refs had a tough task in this game…….The NFL front office will have a tough task in dealing out all the penalties/fines/suspensions as well……The number of fines will be over 5, one suspension and alot of nfl fans confused……

  136. billytodd2013blbaad says: Jan 10, 2016 11:20 AM

    Looks like the cinci fans are just like their coach..in denial and placing blame everywhere except where it needs to be..on the Bengals! The Steelers had more penalties than the bengals did for the game, munchak was penalized for doing nothing else than stopping the bengal player and getting his hands caught in his hair..watch the film..THERE WAS NO PUSH!!.. yes Porter should have been flagged but the refs not flagging him is no reason to push a ref or run up from behind to hit porter, also the shazier hit was legal under the rules..sorry folks but it was… the burfict hit has illegal and was intended to cause injury!

  137. tedmurph says: Jan 10, 2016 11:21 AM

    In order to get a crown of the helmet call you need to lower your head like a ram. Shazier did not do that CLEARLY. maybe hairline, yes, but not crown.

    Delusional. If anything, Shazier hit him with the top of the helmet after lowering his head perpendicular to the RB. Good view on deadspin.

  138. cornerstone2001 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:25 AM

    You cant take the hood out of the NFL.

  139. tedmurph says: Jan 10, 2016 11:26 AM

    And, he did hit him in the facemask.

  140. cornerstone2001 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:27 AM

    Classless coach,classless players, classless fans

  141. mullman76 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:34 AM

    @Deb: You can’t be serious.

    Burfict’s hit on Roethlisberger was clean as can be.

    You know this to be true.

    It’s not even close.

    Shake yourself, lady.

  142. tonebones says: Jan 10, 2016 11:34 AM

    Future HOF LB Ryan Shazier laso had a tackle that could have been flagged, but wasn’t. Burfict had a big hit that was. Shazier has a nice short haircut. Burfict doesn’t. If I were Mike Brown, I’d have everyone go to the barber shop today and get a hair cut so they look like real men. Then maybe they’ll start getting calls in their favor. I wonder how many Bengals players would choose their hair over football.

  143. kcrobert10 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:41 AM

    10 or 20 years ago there wouldn’t of been any flag thrown on that play. The nfl and college has been calling it the last couple years for player safety. The selfish penalty was pacmans his teammates and coaches should of removed him before it getting there. It turned what could of been a 50/50 fg attempt to a chip shot. Man how fast does burffect go from hero making the int with 1 min and change to go to zero.

  144. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 10, 2016 11:52 AM

    Jan 10, 2016, 11:21 AM EST
    In order to get a crown of the helmet call you need to lower your head like a ram. Shazier did not do that CLEARLY. maybe hairline, yes, but not crown.

    Delusional. If anything, Shazier hit him with the top of the helmet after lowering his head perpendicular to the RB. Good view on deadspin.

    Speaking of delusional are you the same Tedmurph that said the Steelers would be lucky to go 8-8, miss the playoffs, and finally lose to the Bungals. See the pattern folks… Yup Ted is a know it all but doesn’t know Jack. Ted I’ll introduce you Jack if you want.

  145. sammievee says: Jan 10, 2016 11:54 AM

    He isn’t wrong that the hit on Bernard should have been flagged. Still, this play ironically turned game in favor of BENGALS.

    The JUDGEMENT non-call in question resulted in what should have been Pitt td, but yet another INADVERTENT WHISTLE on the (later determined) fumble recovery brought the whole play back–including a 15 yard penalty that should have been assessed on a kick off that never happened. The ensuing series the Pitt QB was injured–and instead of 22-0 for Pitt a blink of the eye resulted in 15-16 with only a bizarre end of game sequence allowing for Bengals to lose.

    Btw, though Pitt won the inadvertent whistle may have ended their season regardless. A strong argument can be made that had that whistle not blown neither the qb or the star wide out would have been injured and Pitt would go into Denver with a great chance to advance on to the AFC Championship game.

  146. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Jan 10, 2016 11:56 AM

    crusty14 says:
    Jan 10, 2016 9:51 AM
    Where’s bonniebengal and dr.rustbelt? Must be hiding after the Steelers DESTROYED the bengals on their home turf!
    ====

    Winning on a last second field goal mostly due to 2 stupid penalties is your definition of destroying someone?

  147. aljack88 says: Jan 10, 2016 11:56 AM

    “….The refs lost control of this game when they didn’t flag Shazier for the dirty hit on Bernard after flagging the Williams hit on Wheaton….”
    ==================================
    The only time I screamed at the TV last night was over all the talking by Gruden and company after the Shazier play. It’s too bad that there isn’t the technology to be able run a replay of both for comparison rather than listen to their ramble.

    One moment that was lost as result of all the B.S. was Bryant’s TD catch. THAT was the most amazing TD catch I can recall ever seeing.

  148. 6superbowls says: Jan 10, 2016 11:57 AM

    Anyone who stands up and supports Burfict is an idiot. If you really think this guy goes out without the intention of seriously hurting an opponents top players is a fool. Look at his track record this year alone.

    Game #1 in Pgh: questionable tackling form designed to take out a RBs knee. L. Bell out for the season.

    Game #2 in Cincy: Low shot on a QBs knee. Also 3 other blatant knee shots in the first half alone. Luckily Big Ben came out uninsured.

    Game #3 in Cincy: blatant disregard for player safety. Bar none the ugliest targeting of a defenseless WR I can recall in the past 20 years. Rivals Jack Tatum’s hit on Lynn Swann.

    These were just this year alone against one team. There’s countless other players from around the league who fell victim to the criminal element that is Vontaze Burfict. The NFL needs to come down hard on this guy or it’s never going to stop. And NO…. Two games isn’t enough. That’s chump change. Whatever the punishment, it better be endorsed by the NFLPA.

  149. sonhoodoo says: Jan 10, 2016 12:00 PM

    I can’t imagine why the players show no control with Marvin making excuses for them.

  150. edwardicus says: Jan 10, 2016 12:08 PM

    Shazier, with out any question about intent, initiated contact with the crown of his helmet, a 15 yard penalty, when the Bengals were at the Steelers 25 yard line. He knocks Giovanni Bernard out cold, then recovers the fumble and runs it in for a touchdown. The Refs call the play dead, but no flag. Bengals still have ball right outside the end zone (should have been in the end zone with the penalty). Then Mike Tomlin throws a challenge flag that Bernard fumbled. HE WAS KNOCKED OUT COLD! Refs give the Ball to Pittsburgh. And we’re to expect Burfict to be an angel the rest of the game? I agree that the Bengals failed to hold it together at that point, something they needed to do. But I understand where Marvin Lewis is upset. And if Brown is out next week and the Steelers lose, it’s poetic justice.

  151. tedmurph says: Jan 10, 2016 12:17 PM

    Thanks for reminding me droolboy(I said 9-7). I’m flattered you have the time to keep a log of my posts and predictions. Under your spiderman pillow, perhaps?

  152. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonsAndNeverToReturn says: Jan 10, 2016 12:25 PM

    rastanati says: Jan 10, 2016 9:13 AM
    Undeniable facts that this game confirmed:

    Porter on field berating Bengals players. On top of that, Porter was awarded game ball in locker room.

    johnc44 says: Jan 10, 2016 9:29 AM
    Joey Poeter wasn`t checking on Brown he came on the field cussing at players.
    ————-

    I have yet to see or hear any evidence that Porter said anything to anyone. Other than the insane rant of an embarrassed criminal.

  153. chonchko says: Jan 10, 2016 12:27 PM

    As a lifelong Bengals fan, I agree with Lewis in that there were some inconsistencies in calls. I agree that Bernard’s hit could have easily been called a targeting, at least when taking similar calls of the night into consideration.

    However, a good coach would also calm his team down, and make sure they don’t let their emotions get the best of them–especially at such a crucial juncture. Lewis did not do that, and it cost them dearly. As much as I hate the Steelers, this is a game that the Bengals should have won, and perhaps the most shining example of a coach that has, at least in some ways, lost control of his team.

    If the players don’t respect you enough to keep their heads, then you’ve lost the team. I do admire what Lewis has done for the Bengals as a whole–he took them from league laughingstock, to a reputable franchise, at least in the regular season–but if you can’t win a playoff game in 7 tries, you’re not getting the team ready when they need to be ready, and at the end of the day, you’re just not a good coach. Same with primetime and nationally-televised games, where they have consistently choked in a similar fashion.

    I think Lewis needs to be fired, and held accountable for this loss. Sure, individual players will act of their own accord, but these are the same players (Jones and Burfict) that act out all the time. Reel them in, or get them out. Lewis did neither, and it falls on his shoulders.

  154. johnnyhambone says: Jan 10, 2016 12:27 PM

    and to quote Joey Porter from the steelers bengals 2005 playoff – ‘I’m tired of whipping you all ass. You all make me tired’.

    Never gets old whipping the bengals!!!!!

  155. playsanity says: Jan 10, 2016 12:29 PM

    bryant did not catch the ball in bounds.

    Brown hit was bad, partially cause he was falling. Don’t believe it was targeted at all but you have to call it when it is that clear of a shot to the head.

    Porter shouldve been flagged for messing with bengal players, negating the head hit penalty, and thus forcing Pitt to earn the victory and not get handed it by the refs.

  156. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 10, 2016 12:33 PM

    Thanks for reminding me droolboy(I said 9-7). I’m flattered you have the time to keep a log of my posts and predictions. Under your spiderman pillow, perhaps?

    Just trying to help others recognize a fraud in case they want to know . It’s just humorous to watch a boaster get caught lying and trying to weasel their way to safety… Couple of examples you saying after the Ray Rice incident women need to be put in their place or when you said you leave a presidential audience if jokes were made about the Cheaties. Put that under Brady’s TuTu he gave you to smell last year.

  157. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonsAndNeverToReturn says: Jan 10, 2016 12:34 PM

    It’s fun to see all the drama, but the BOTTOM LINE IS: if the Bengals kneel 3X and kick the shortie, does anyone think they would not have won the game? Of course they would have.

  158. blackcatnfl says: Jan 10, 2016 12:41 PM

    You know it used to be mad love. So take a look what you’ve done. Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood, hey!

  159. Titus48 says: Jan 10, 2016 12:43 PM

    As a long time Steelers fan I’m still smiling from that win! However, I feel for the Bengals fans. That had to be the worst playoff loss in history. That bengals meltdown made the Dallas Cowboys look like a classy team! Lol

  160. scrotiemcb says: Jan 10, 2016 12:44 PM

    I know if a Broncos.DB’s shadow passes over a receiver they got flagged, but you can knock out Denver receivers and hit Denver QBs with impunity. I think refs are as incapable of deviating from the set narrative as the NFL media and game announcers.

    (It’s weird that the NFL attracts such a multitude of unimaginative and straight up dumb human beings as refs and pundits.)

  161. sergeant2 says: Jan 10, 2016 12:44 PM

    Lewis, Jones and Burfict will all be back next season, and the tail will continue to wag the dog. Burfict and Jones will continue to hurt the team with boneheaded penalties, and Marvin will continue to be a non factor on the undisciplined behavior. Deja Vu all over again.

  162. burfictdayinpittsburgh says: Jan 10, 2016 12:46 PM

    Dirty city, dirty team. Here is to another 25 years of no playoff wins. To you, Bungles, I thank you. It’s a Burfict day in the ‘Burgh!

  163. romosmicrodongs says: Jan 10, 2016 12:53 PM

    Steelers were disgusting last night.

    Httr.

  164. patsfanscryalot says: Jan 10, 2016 12:58 PM

    If the hit on wheaton is unnecessary roughness then the hit on bernard is unnecessary period the steelers celebrated bernard injury. Porter had no right being on the field he instigated it. The officiating is bad league wide no consistency at all. It don’t matter who you are a fan of you can all think of a game your team got screwed. Officiating is terrible it’s a shame the wheaton and bernard comparison is not brought up in national media bengals got screwed

  165. dudeicle says: Jan 10, 2016 1:05 PM

    yeah… in slow motion it looked like Bernard had all day to get out of the way… in real time he didn’t stand a chance, he had maybe a tenth of a second. besides Shazier lead with the crown of his helmet. Cincy got jobbed on that one.

  166. ebdug says: Jan 10, 2016 1:06 PM

    Tomlin is the one who should be suspended. He sent Brown over the middle with the sole intent of drawing the contact penalty. He probably instructed the QB to overthrow him. Now THAT’s taking one for the team, Larry!

    Coaches are using the new rules like the pass interference rule now, just lob it over the middle and wait for the flag.

  167. Deb says: Jan 10, 2016 1:19 PM

    Always amusing to read how the Steelers have bought off the refs … given that the Rooneys have the least wealth of any owners in the league.

    No, Porter didn’t belong on the field. He had a perfect right to check on Brown, but given his volatile personality and the flaring tempers, it wasn’t wise for him to venture out. I have no idea whether he said anything inflammatory to Jones, but it wouldn’t be the first time one guy got flagged and another didn’t. Each player is responsible for his own behavior. Nelson should have been flagged for a late hit out of bounds; instead Munchak drew a flag for stopping his momentum and getting tangled in his hair. The film on that is pretty clear. The coach didn’t try to pull his hair and Nelson shoved the coach. Guess on that play the refs were in Mike Brown’s pocket.

    The bottom line here is that neither team was well-behaved, but Burfict was trying to hurt people and the crowd could easily have drawn a flag for dumping trash on an injured player. As for Cincy being without Dalton … McCarron is a proven winner who came a heckuva lot closer to winning a playoff game than any Cincy QB since 1991. You were lucky to have him.

  168. mellimac says: Jan 10, 2016 1:31 PM

    You can’t look at each dirty hit in isolation…when Bennard got popped with a helmut to helmut hit without a penalty, the game changed right there. From then on out, the game was out of control.

    Bengals, right or wrong, were livid after seeing not only the Steelers getting away with a dirty hit, but celebrating it. Then the Bengals went head hunting.

    What really pissed me off, was not the outcome, but the fact the refs didn’t call the Bennard hit a penalty. Leading with crown of helmut is a penalty.

    The whole nonsense about coach being responsible for not calming his team down is silly. Being a teammate means one goes to bat for their fellow teammate. The Bengals saw a gross injustice, and were looking for retribution.

    We need coach’s challenges on plays like this…a review would have called it a penalty, and the game would have been, well, a game.

  169. patsfanscryalot says: Jan 10, 2016 1:44 PM

    The comment on the munching penalty is stupid after his momentum was stopped he let him go then gapped him in pulled down on his hair the secound graphics on Nelson was bad intent he’s to blame as any one else

  170. patsfanscryalot says: Jan 10, 2016 1:55 PM

    Mike Tomlin trips people on sideline on kickoffs. Mucha gets involved porter in the huddle. Teams should hire goons to be enforcers on there coaching staff to break rules and start trouble and get away with it good idea pitt.

  171. keifer1751 says: Jan 10, 2016 1:58 PM

    Marvin Lewis lost control of his team. He should start packing his cardboard box because he will be unemployed by Tuesday.

  172. Deb says: Jan 10, 2016 2:21 PM

    It’s possible for hits to be both legal and dirty. Burfict has positioned himself as a head-hunter. He tries to inflict injury on star players. After the Roethlisberger play is over, he didn’t just get up and move on, he put his full weight on Roethlisberger, shoving him into the turf, trying to do as much damage to the shoulder as possible. I have no problem with hard hits. This guy goes to extremes. He’s dirty. And that’s me being polite.

  173. patsfanscryalot says: Jan 10, 2016 2:30 PM

    That’s fine but you need to officiate consistently either you call them all illegal or call them all legal. But you need to be consistent in your rules and there’s not it’s a league wide proplem

  174. sfjj37 says: Jan 10, 2016 3:53 PM

    I’m a 49er fan, so I don’t have a vested interest in either side, and my team has had it’s own share of outside the rules guys (i.e., Donte Whitner, Ahmad Brooks), but I was still embarrassed for the sport by the shameful display on both sides last night!

    How could Mike Tomlin go out to his interview and really say with a straight face that both teams acquitted themselves well and represented everything their division stands for?! And Marvin Lewis? In blaming the officials, he showed himself to be a poor loser, and in covering up for his players, he showed himself to be a poor leader!

    He needed to acknowledge his players were out of control and then accept the blame for enabling that behavior. It’s no wonder to me that despite potentially having the most talented roster in the league, they can’t win a playoff game.

    The Cincy fans added insult to injury by copying the classless behavior of their heroes by throwing bottles at injured players!

  175. firecashmannow says: Jan 10, 2016 3:55 PM

    Seriously, how TF do Lewis and Fisher still have a job?

  176. fanofpft says: Jan 10, 2016 5:11 PM

    Why is it so hard for players to lead with the shoulder? I believe this to be text book. And it dishes out punishment while preserving your own safety.

  177. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonsAndNeverToReturn says: Jan 10, 2016 9:48 PM

    As a Steeler fan who remembers the war against the Steelers defense back in 2010 – it is amusing me greatly to see the NFL Network stars (Faulk, Sanders, etc.) and other assorted Steeler haters whine and cry about the headshot penalites.

    The media and the anti-Steeler fans cheered on the war against hard hits and flags, fines and suspensions against the Steeler defense.

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I love it. You wanted it that way. Now it’s called that way. I have NO sympathy.

  178. joec44 says: Jan 11, 2016 10:07 AM

    ebdug says:
    Jan 10, 2016 8:51 AM

    After ten years of this bonehead’s goofy rule changes, he hasn’t reduced the number of hits or concussions. He’s only increased the number of games determined by officials.
    ———————————————
    Who is ‘he’? If you’re referring to the Commissioner he’s not in charge of the rules. The rules committee made of coaches and owners, then it’s passed on the refs.

  179. bigdawg24 says: Jan 11, 2016 4:31 PM

    It is ridiculous that you can unleash illegal blows to the head if you are wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform, but same type of hits in a Bengals uniform draws flags. Refs were totally disgraceful in this game. I am wondering if the “fix” was in, it was so bad and one-sided.

  180. dandeman19 says: Jan 11, 2016 4:43 PM

    Bengals fan? Yes the Refs missed called But the Bengals cost themselves the game with their lack of professionalism champs overcome adversity the Bengals did not

  181. gary866 says: Jan 11, 2016 6:40 PM

    flash1287 says:
    Jan 10, 2016 9:15 AM

    Like I said….

    WHO DEY? A team nobody fears come playoff time.

    Dirt ball team, dirt ball fans! Throwing stuff at a player as he is being carted off.

    ————————————————–

    As an obvious Steelers fan, your comment is about as meaningful as Rosie O’Donnell calling somebody fat. If you look up the term dirtball in the dictionary there is a picture of a Steelers fan. Another playoff “win” with a HUUUUUGE asterisk beside it……better send the refs some sandwiches too.

  182. sugarbagblog says: Jan 12, 2016 6:02 AM

    Refs in Steelers pocket! I am still laughing about that one. Would the geniuses that actually believe that be able to find the stats from the game where it says penalties? Never mind, probably not.

    Steelers 10-142 yds
    Bengals 8-79 yds

    Explain how the refs were in the Steelers pockets AND receiving nearly twice as many yards in penalties.

  183. Rolo Tomassi says: Jan 13, 2016 6:46 AM

    The fact that Lewis even mentioned that shows he is not a head coach

  184. jjbsew says: Jan 13, 2016 9:46 PM

    Steelers are a dirty, classless team, and it starts with their coach

  185. BayAreaBrownsBacker says: Jan 14, 2016 7:30 PM

    The officials are told to do what you can to advance the Steelers because it gives better ratings. I once seen a game where the Steelers where an entire foot and 1/2 away from the first down marker on 4th down and the Referee, says excitedly: FIRST DOWN!.. It’s really like a scene out of the NAKED GUN movies… it’s comical. Doesn’t anyone ever wonder how the Steelers ALWAYS go deep into the playoffs every year even with marginal talent?.. It’s not rocket science people. In a game of inches, it’s extremely easy to manipulate the outcome of any game. The better team lost. Period.

  186. badger65blog says: Jan 15, 2016 7:45 AM

    1. What do you expect from VB?
    He was not drafted, he was hired as a hitman . . .
    2. Bitch all you want about who did what to whom, the NFL officials get to make the calls, NOT YOU !!!
    3. The Commissioner get’s to levy fines and impose suspensions, NOT YOU !!!
    4. If your team loses, they, in a majority of cases, DESERVED to by not playing well enough, stepping on the field of play with their heads superglued up their behinds, or self-destructing at the most inoportune moments.
    5. All told, we’re pretty lucky . . . at least we’re not watching pro-wrestling!
    6. We’re also lucky if we even get to watch our teams make the playoffs, progress and maybe even win the super bowl . . .
    7. I was noticing alot of ‘Steeler’ haters out there, and wondered why? Maybe its because they’ve won more super bowls than anyone else or because they somehow encourage players and team organization to operate on 60 to 70 percent of the budget of everyone else’s team . . . Or just maybe on those very days that God is watching an everything is going to Hell in a hand basket … maybe on those days your team just wasn’t good enough or smart enough to make the ‘right’ decisions on the field.
    8. I know this though . . . I watched Ben go out early in the season cuz of a ‘Brady-rule’ infraction. He was out for 4 weeks, they were in last place in the AFC North . . . then things changed when Ben came back and in the same game Burfict tried to take Ben out again and ended Bell’s season. In the wildcard game he succeeded in hurting Ben enough that he had to leave the field. At that point the score was 15 – 0 Steelers. I saw a QB come back on the field and with great pain and angst move his team towards a field goal. Burfict ‘Knew’ they couldn’t stop Ben, so he made a conscious decision to hurt Antonio Brown. It almost worked . . .
    9. But God was watching . . .!
    10. Between VB being caught and Pacman Jonesin, all that was left to do was kick a field goal which they would’ve done anyway without the penalties …
    11. Ya see ‘chillin’ is thrillin, the refs took control of the game THEY saw, NOT YOU !!!

  187. badger65blog says: Jan 15, 2016 8:15 AM

    to: BayAreaBrownsBacker

    Don’t know where you skipped English class or Comprehesion 101, but, the ‘better’ team has lost both of the last 2 and that’s 1 for 3 where I learned math.
    Oh well, the 1st Sgt will correct this oversight when he comes to work . . .

  188. silvernblacksabbath says: Jan 15, 2016 9:09 AM

    coolzog says:Jan 10, 2016 9:43 AM

    The officials called a playoff game in the Steelers favor? No, that never happens…lol

    ————————–
    Just like that super bowl vs Seattle 10 years ago!!!

  189. silvernblacksabbath says: Jan 15, 2016 10:27 AM

    sugarbagblog says:Jan 12, 2016 6:02 AM

    Refs in Steelers pocket! I am still laughing about that one. Would the geniuses that actually believe that be able to find the stats from the game where it says penalties? Never mind, probably not.

    Steelers 10-142 yds
    Bengals 8-79 yds

    Explain how the refs were in the Steelers pockets AND receiving nearly twice as many yards in penalties.
    ——————-
    Its all about the 4th quarter.. Box score means nothing… Throw 10 flags on a team in the first half is much different from throwing 10 flags on the other team in the 2nd half.

  190. silvernblacksabbath says: Jan 15, 2016 10:28 AM

    ^^^^^

    And it depends on the situation.. If a team gets drives extended because of 3rd down BS calls in the 2nd half, then the box score means nothing…

  191. silvernblacksabbath says: Jan 15, 2016 10:41 AM

    Remember folks,
    That’s why you can’t challenge a flag.. Officials control the outcomes of (some) games ON PURPOSE.. It is Ratings driven! Just like in the NBA.. If they call a phantom BS call on someone guarding LeBron, if said player even looks at the ref, he’ll get T’d up… Tim Donaghey says hi….

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