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Ryan Shazier says he wasn’t fined for hit on Giovani Bernard

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

Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier delivered a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit that gave Bengals running back Giovani Bernard a concussion on Saturday night. But while it was brutal, it was also legal.

Shazier told reporters he hasn’t received a fine notice from the NFL.

Not yet,” Shazier said. “I hope not. I felt like it was a clean hit. I’m not out here trying to hurt anyone. I’m just out here trying to play football.”

The NFL informs players by Wednesday if they’re fined, so if Shazier hasn’t heard yet, that means he’s not getting fined. And that’s because the hit was not a foul. Hits with the crown of the helmet are only illegal under certain defined circumstances, and Shazier’s hit didn’t qualify as illegal. Brutal, yes. Illegal, no.

In fact, it’s really the Steelers who have a right to complain about the call on that play: Bernard fumbled and Shazier picked up the ball and had a clear path to the end zone for a touchdown, but the officials wrongly blew the play dead.

Shazier, for his part, isn’t complaining. He says he’s glad he wasn’t fined and glad it sounds like Bernard will be OK.

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86 Responses to “Ryan Shazier says he wasn’t fined for hit on Giovani Bernard”
  1. ohand16 says: Jan 15, 2016 6:34 AM

    I was going to say there’s always this week. Buy I’m sure he’ll get injured again and be unable to finish the game.

  2. drakost says: Jan 15, 2016 6:35 AM

    Hate the Steelers, but anyone who knows football knew that was a devistating CLEAN hit. The running forearm finishing move by burfict on the other hand was legal… back when Mike Dikta played that is.

  3. 6andcounting says: Jan 15, 2016 6:37 AM

    Kind of the state of pro football right now. A hit that has been deemed legal is being vilified because the hit was too hard. Football is violent and always will be. Part of the reason why people like it.

  4. dirtdawg54 says: Jan 15, 2016 6:38 AM

    He wasn’t fined because Bernard was faking it.🙂

  5. troy43mvp says: Jan 15, 2016 6:42 AM

    Not a defenseless player. Good Hit.

  6. gmen32 says: Jan 15, 2016 6:44 AM

    This is exactly what is wrong with today’s NFL and frustrates the fans. I’ve watched the game for 40 years and can honestly say I don’t understand how penalties are called anymore. A friend asked the other day, when is a penalty called for helmet to helmet contact? My response, depends on the ref, the teams involved, the temperature and which way the wind is blowing.

  7. bmacwillconn says: Jan 15, 2016 6:49 AM

    Ridicules for any hit by the crown of the helmet not to be illegal. Follow the college rule and kick players out of the game if they use their helmet to target. For the long term good of the sport and player safety, that type of a hit has to be weeded out of the game.

  8. jtm12180 says: Jan 15, 2016 6:50 AM

    Because it was LEEEEEGALLLL…..this isn’t rocket science.

  9. joe6606 says: Jan 15, 2016 7:00 AM

    The blown whistle was the worst call of the game. Had shazier rightfully scored, the game would have been over. 22-0. Not only that, but then the whole series where Ben got hurt never would have happened. Likewise, there would have been no end game throw over the middle which resulted in brown getting hurt. Butterfly effect

  10. solo681 says: Jan 15, 2016 7:00 AM

    100% ILLEGAL hit that was 10x worse then leading with the shoulder as Burfict did.

    Shazier aimed his helmet straight at Bernard – straight at Bernards head.

    It is right there on film anybody can see.

    This is Goodel’s integrity at work

  11. sclairebear says: Jan 15, 2016 7:05 AM

    Finally an end to all the speculation, the NFL has spoken! 1. Shazier’s hit was not illegal and 2. Burfict’s hit was an illegal head shot (PS and it doesn’t matter whether Antonio Brown was hurt or not, so all this noise about whether he’s faking it is just that — noise).

    The NHL does a lot of things wrong, but one thing they do right is showing a video and explaining why a hit is illegal. If the NFL showed a video with their rulings it would be so much easier for fans to understand.

  12. bech1208 says: Jan 15, 2016 7:11 AM

    If RBs can’t use their helmets as a weapon then Defenders shouldn’t be able to. The NFL can’t have it both ways; either they want to protect the head or they don’t.

    Furthermore, if Shawn Williams’ hit on Wheaton was a foul, then Shazier’s should have been too.

    The last thing that needs to be said about that game is that both teams were dirty and both fanbases should be embarrassed.

  13. John Harbaugh Is A Whiney Middle Aged Woman says: Jan 15, 2016 7:12 AM

    Just another nail in the coffin of those who would argue that Cincy was ‘cheated’ or that the refs were biased in that game. Pitt played a clean, hard-fought contest and Cincy went for the lowest backyard crap they could think of.

    Glad the better, classier, more dignified team won – despite the refs trying to throw the game Cincy’s way.

  14. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Jan 15, 2016 7:17 AM

    You mean helmet to chest hit

  15. jdeezman says: Jan 15, 2016 7:21 AM

    Crown of the helmet to the face IS illegal… If it wasn’t a stealer he’d be getting fined.

  16. holeinone09 says: Jan 15, 2016 7:25 AM

    It was a hard legal hit. Unlike Burfict intentionally trying to take AB’s head off after the ball was clearly way over his head way before Burfict got there. Put your homerism and jealousy aside and be honest.

  17. whodeytn says: Jan 15, 2016 7:31 AM

    I still can’t believe Williams’ hit on Wheaton drew a flag while this one didn’t. Wheaton took three full steps and ran into Williams’ shoulder, yet they called him defenseless. Bernard caught the ball, turned around and got knocked out and wasn’t called defenseless.

    Way to call it the same for both teams, ref.

  18. pinwilly6 says: Jan 15, 2016 7:38 AM

    To the steelers that is a clean hit. The rest of the league would get fined.

  19. hawks1124 says: Jan 15, 2016 7:41 AM

    Wish people would stop bringing up the defenseless receiver rule because this play had nothing to do with that.

  20. hawks1124 says: Jan 15, 2016 7:43 AM

    It was a new rule in still aged in 2013 nicknamed the Trent Richardson rule.

    The first rule change prohibits a runner or tackler from initiating forcible contact with the crown of the helmet outside the tackle box,”

    Shazier should have been flagged, but Bengals shouldn’t have let steelers get inside there head.

  21. sammievee says: Jan 15, 2016 7:44 AM

    This play ironically turned game in favor of Bengals. The JUDGEMENT non-call in question resulted in what should have been Pitt td, but the another Inadvertent whistle on what was later determined a legal fumble and clean recovery still brought the whole play back–and included 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 the 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 significantly better chance to advance on to the AFC Championship game.

  22. cincinnati222 says: Jan 15, 2016 7:47 AM

    Yet Williams of Cincinnati was called for a personal foul on a play that was cleaner and less devastating than this.

    Receiver had three steps, Williams lead with his shoulder and still got the 15 yard penalty.

    Shazier hits Bernard, two steps, crown of the helmet. Nothing.

    I’m glad Burfict has taken out Bell. Left Antonio Brown concuss and Roethlisberger straining.

    Good luck in Denver.

  23. baltimorons says: Jan 15, 2016 7:48 AM

    Steelers play within the rules. Always have. The rest of the NFL…doing whatever it can to topple the most successful franchise in sports history.

  24. eezyxyz says: Jan 15, 2016 7:53 AM

    Seriously, the way the rule book is these days it’s almost like they sat down and said let’s write stuff that makes as little sense as possible and is as inconsistent as we can possible make it.

    When you think of all the things that do draw a flag in football, it makes no sense that it would not be a penalty for a guy to catch the ball with his back to the defense and get clocked straight in the face with the crown of a defender’s helmet as soon as he turns around. How on earth did they decide that was going to be the exception to the safety rules?

  25. leftlaneisforpassingonly says: Jan 15, 2016 7:53 AM

    Absolutely legal to use the helmet as a weapon, because player safety is number 1. smh

  26. floriosnuts says: Jan 15, 2016 7:57 AM

    that hit was legal…wow.

  27. johnc44 says: Jan 15, 2016 8:00 AM

    If that is a legal hit then stop telling me the NFL cares about safety because that was launching the crown of his helmet square into Bernards helmet and can cause just as much harm to Bernard as the hit on Brown.
    Where you are on the field doesn`t change the “safety” of a hit.

  28. warpigz says: Jan 15, 2016 8:01 AM

    Never heard Burfict or any other Bengal say they hope AB or Ben will be ok. Just that they are faking concussions etc… Speaks for itself

  29. steelpenguin6687 says: Jan 15, 2016 8:02 AM

    Uh oh, here come the conspiracy theorists in 3….2….1.

  30. mmmpierogi says: Jan 15, 2016 8:05 AM

    Shazier also has no history of being dirty or hitting with intent to injure. Guessing we’ll still never hear an end to the complaining about the infamous “dirty hit on Bernard,” though — Carson Palmer Pt. 2.

  31. intrafinesse says: Jan 15, 2016 8:06 AM

    I don’t see how Shazier wasn’t violating the rule instituted in 2013 about “spearing/targeting” (leading with the crown of the helmet).
    The rule was instituted after a running (Trent Richardson) ran over (pancaked) a safety (Kurt Coleman).

    The rule was for “player safety”.
    If the NFL is going to institute such a rule, then why would this not be a prime example? From the rule book, this seems to be a classic example.

  32. Kaz says: Jan 15, 2016 8:08 AM

    No coincidence none of the Steelers players or Coaches were fined. No coincidence just Bengals players were punished. The league has a integrity problem, and the world witnessed the favoritism to the Steelers.

    No way the Pats get away with using coaches to change outcome of games like Steelers do. Imagine Bill with an attempted trip. A Pat’s coach being caught pulling hair, or another one in the opposing teams defensive huddle. Never would be allowed.

    Shame on NFL, if the nation thought the Superbowl against Seattle was just a onetime thing, they now know it’s a trend.

  33. intrafinesse says: Jan 15, 2016 8:13 AM

    >>Article 8. Initiating Contact with the Crown of the Helmet

    >>It is a foul if a runner or tackler initiates forcible contact by delivering a blow with the top/crown of his helmet against an opponent when both players are clearly outside the tackle box (an area extending from tackle to tackle and from three yards beyond the line of scrimmage to the offensive team’s end line). Incidental contact by the helmet of a runner or tackler against an opponent shall not be a foul.

    The hit was outside the tackle box .

    How was this hit legal? Was it incidental contact? Didn’t look that way to me. Was it the refs opinion that Shazier would not have hit with the crown of the helmet if Bernard hadn’t spun to his right?
    I assume that’s what it come down to. The league believes that Sazier wouldn’t have hit with the crown of his helmet if Bernard didn’t move?

    I guess I kind of sort of see that.

  34. dacatindahat says: Jan 15, 2016 8:17 AM

    I don’t buy the “he’s not a defenseless wide receiver” angle…you aren’t allowed to spear anyone with the top of your helmet…unless you are a Steeler…

  35. ncfloyd says: Jan 15, 2016 8:17 AM

    Finally it is mentioned in the media that is was the Steelers who were screwed by the call, it only took six days. Some Bungle fans still claim Shazier was standing over Bernard gloating over the hit, No, he was running to the end zone for 6!

  36. bonniebengal says: Jan 15, 2016 8:23 AM

    There are different rules for the Steelers.

  37. whocares69 says: Jan 15, 2016 8:25 AM

    Goes to show you the NFL doesn’t care about injuries – So they make the rules so convoluted that nobody really understands them and leave everything “open for interpretation”

    These kind of so called “Clean hits” brings more ratings and that is the most important to the NFL.

    Good luck to the Steelers – I personally hope the Broncos give them several concussions via “Clean” hits.

  38. enoughofthatalready says: Jan 15, 2016 8:27 AM

    Glad Gio is ok but I hope that they add this hit to Renegade next year when the Bengals play in Pittsburgh. That will surely lead to a tantrum by Burfict again which will cause him to do something stupid again. Please make it happen.

  39. jtbsteeler says: Jan 15, 2016 8:28 AM

    Tasty tears

  40. easyeintennessee says: Jan 15, 2016 8:29 AM

    NFL, referees, and the Steelers ran the game on the Bengals Saturday night. Refs watched Vontaze so much, they missed a lot of calls on Pittsburgh. It really is a shame for Bengals fans. We won our first playoff game in 25 years and lost it all at the same time.

    There is a great article on SB Nations Cincinnati site, Cincy Jungle, with a ton of video evidence of how badly we got hosed Saturday. NFL hasn’t even acknowledged it, but they were able to suspend Tez 15 minutes after the game ended. It’s ridiculous really.

  41. sopadegato says: Jan 15, 2016 8:31 AM

    To cut off the “the NFL favors the Steelers!” chuckleheads, I’ll simply ask you this.

    If the NFL really loved the Steelers so much, how come they had double the penalty yards that the Bengals did in that game?

  42. breadmeatcheese says: Jan 15, 2016 8:33 AM

    I’m glad the league isn’t protecting Marvin Lewis’ players; I’m glad the they do not get the benefit of the doubt. It’s obviously how the Bengals prefer things.

  43. steelhammer92 says: Jan 15, 2016 8:34 AM

    22-0 if the refs allow the play to play out, which they are instructed to do.. If they do their jobs correctly, Ben doesn’t get hurt.. Brown doesn’t get hurt.. The circus ending doesn’t happen..

  44. ninerfan81 says: Jan 15, 2016 8:39 AM

    he squared up and knocked the breaks off of Bernard…who probably weights 190lbs…listen, there wasn’t malicious intent there, it was an ugly hit but that’s the difference between Shazier’s hit on Bernard and Burfict’s hit on Brown…I stop short of calling it clean but I also don’t necessarily think he was head hunting…it was a bang bang play

  45. theroc5156 says: Jan 15, 2016 8:46 AM

    Of course he wasn’t fined. That would be an admission of guilt from the NFL that the tackle violated the crown of the helmet penalty and the refs screwed up by not throwing a flag.

  46. danm1978 says: Jan 15, 2016 8:51 AM

    dirtdawg54 says:
    Jan 15, 2016 6:38 AM
    He wasn’t fined because Bernard was faking it.
    I hope you apologise to him….if he sits sunday though lol

  47. cdwains says: Jan 15, 2016 9:06 AM

    How is that hit legal but the one Shawn Williams put on Wheaton was flagged? Pretty comical Wheaton got three steps and saw the hit coming and was then hit with a shoulder to his shoulder. Gio was blindsided and hit with the crown of the helmet. 10 years ago all of these hits were legal. It’s funny the NFL claims to be protecting players with the new rules but with hits like the one put on Gio it seems there is still work to do.

  48. smac410 says: Jan 15, 2016 9:06 AM

    It’s ludicrous to consider the Shazier hit “legal”…..that type of hit is why there is a movie called “Concussion”….Also, seems to be very illegal reading the NFL’s rulebook:

    Article 8(f) states in pertinent part:
    “If a player uses any part of his helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/”hairline” parts) or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily. Although such violent or unnecessary use of the helmet and facemask is impermissible against any opponent, game officials will give special attention in administering this rule to protecting those players who are in virtually defenseless postures . . .”

  49. t8ertot says: Jan 15, 2016 9:09 AM

    Of course he wasn’t. You can’t hit someone with the crown of your helmet. The hit Shawn Williams gave Marcus Wheaton was text book, but he was flagged. NFL loves their golden child steelers

  50. 3cupsanda6pack says: Jan 15, 2016 9:13 AM

    That was a great LEGAL hit.

  51. denver1983 says: Jan 15, 2016 9:14 AM

    Shazier is a dirty player and so is the whole Steelers team. Can’t wait until the Broncos smash them!

  52. troy43mvp says: Jan 15, 2016 9:16 AM

    That’s Black & Golden child. Thank You!

  53. steelcurtainn says: Jan 15, 2016 9:23 AM

    Shazier shouldn’t have been fined. The cincinnati bungle player wasn’t defenseless and started up field. The hit on AB was far worse. Turdfict got what he deserved.

  54. steelcurtainn says: Jan 15, 2016 9:23 AM

    Shazier shouldn’t have been fined. The cincinnati bungle player wasn’t defenseless and started up field. The hit on AB was far worse. Turdfict got what he deserved.

  55. watermelon1 says: Jan 15, 2016 9:27 AM

    NOPE. it was the SAME situation that the bengals were flagged for earlier in the game. It’s a penalty. A dirty hit.

    AND… Most importantly… It’s teaching kids a completely stupid and incorrect way to try and tackle someone. SEE WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO HIT, KIDS.

  56. nhpats says: Jan 15, 2016 9:28 AM

    Bernard had the ball and was turning upfield. The ball went far over Brown’s head and the play was over…..there was not even a need to hit Brown. Two entirely different situations. But Burfict had to show the world what a tough-guy he was. Well the tough-guy knocked his team right out of the playoffs. Nice job Vontaze.

  57. bobsnygiants says: Jan 15, 2016 9:30 AM

    if he is not fine blame Troy Vincent.

  58. ninkanpoopblog says: Jan 15, 2016 9:43 AM

    For all you cincy fans just think how much fun its going to be till September making excuses and hating your big brother for beating your butt again

  59. 1969mojo says: Jan 15, 2016 9:46 AM

    Why fine him? Dan Rooney authorized a $44 million check to his consigliere Goodell this year. The Steelers are above the law. Only a blind homer can deny it.

  60. steelpenguin6687 says: Jan 15, 2016 9:49 AM

    That’s why the refs missed at least three calls that should have went the Steelers’ way…Couple that with the fact, that the Steelers were flagged more times, and for substantially more yardage…doesn’t sound golden to me…

    Further, on the year (including the playoff game), the Steelers were penalized (accepted) 1010 yds to the Bengals 996 yds. The Steelers and Bengals were the top two in yardage recieved 1278 yds to 1205 yds…

    Sounds pretty even to me…Please take the blinders off…


  61. gencoimports says: Jan 15, 2016 9:57 AM

    Look, I am no Bengals fan, but I and others are baffled why you continue to say this hit was legal.

    That his was arguably a violation of NFL Rule 12, Section 2, Article 6(i), which defines unnecessary roughness as “using any part of a player’s helmet or facemask to butt, spear or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily.” Given the force of Shazier’s hit, it would be hard to argue against that definition.

    It’s also arguable that Shazier could have been penalized for initiating contact with the crown of his helmet outside of the tackle box, a violation of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8. The rule defines the tackle box as “an area extending from tackle to tackle and from three yards beyond the line of scrimmage to the offensive team’s end line.”

    I am not the first to point out these rules, but you continue to ignore them. Why?

  62. Kaz says: Jan 15, 2016 10:06 AM

    Lesson learned. Hit with the crown of your helmet and be okay. Hit with shoulder be flagged and or suspended.

    Actually this is just Steeler rules. Won’t be accepted for other teams. Broncos watch out.

  63. crazyallives says: Jan 15, 2016 10:06 AM

    So why was Chris Culliver penalized earlier in the year for making an even cleaner version of the same hit. Compare the two plays and please explain how Culliver’s was illegal and Shazier’s was legal. Please! If the Shazier hit was clean, someone owes Culliver an apology.

  64. jmd0722 says: Jan 15, 2016 10:06 AM

    This is absolutely bogus that no penalty and now no fined for the helmet to helmet hit. Just make the helmet to helmet hit a penalty, regardless whether intentional or not. Get with the program NFL.

  65. coordinator2016 says: Jan 15, 2016 10:10 AM

    Clean hit – he should’ve been awarded 6-points and the game wouldn’t have come down to the wire.

  66. cymbaline6 says: Jan 15, 2016 10:16 AM

    You and Florio can say it’s legal as much as you want, but it’s not. Read the rule book, then come back to me and tell me how it doesn’t meant the criteria for an illegal hit under the crown of the helmet rule. Or, you know, just respond to one of the many, many comments on this thread or the one you linked. You all have been strangely silent on that front, though, just happily repeating the official NFL line without addressing any of the criticism.

    The NFL isn’t going to fine Shazier because that’s tantamount to admitting their refs significantly impacted a playoff game with their mistakes.

    Oh, and also:

    >“I hope not. I felt like it was a clean hit. I’m not out here trying to hurt anyone. I’m just out here trying to play football.”

    Which is why you danced at midfield and on the sidelines, taunting the crowd and Bernard while he still lay unconscious on the field. No fine or penalty for that either, of course.

    That game may be the beginning of the end of football for me. The NFL is quickly moving toward being “entertainment” rather than a sport, much like the WWE.

  67. FoozieGrooler says: Jan 15, 2016 10:30 AM

    Why would he be? It was a legal hit.

  68. peytonwantsaflag says: Jan 15, 2016 10:46 AM

    He wasn’t fined because there’s no way in hell the league is going to admit a mistake that handed the Steelers a playoff game.

  69. dexx57 says: Jan 15, 2016 10:54 AM

    Completely ridiculous the hit on Bernard was legal but the hit on Brown wasn’t, Shazier should also be fined for dancing on the sideline when Bernard was down.

  70. mmmpierogi says: Jan 15, 2016 10:54 AM

    bonniebengal says:
    Jan 15, 2016 8:23 AM
    There are different rules for the Steelers.


    Really? So that’s how the Steelers wound up getting more flags/yards lost due to penalties in this game than did the Bengals in this game?

    Looked like different rules being applied to me when the refs overlooked several defensive pass interference calls against the Bengals or when Burfict jammed his knee in Ben’s shoulder with intent to injure, but what are you going to do.

  71. crownofthehelmet says: Jan 15, 2016 10:54 AM

    I can’t believe everyone crying about it being illegal and posting the rules can’t figure this out. All these rules you’re posting talk about spearing, and initiating contact with the crown of the helmet. Did you ever think that it was determined that Bernard’s spin is what initiated this. Go back and watch. Bernard spins against the grain towards the inside trying to make a move, instead of spinning outwardly when catching the outlet pass. 99 times out of 100 the RB is spinning outward in that situation, and Shazier played it that way. The helmet to face contact happened because of Bernard’s awkward move, if he didn’t do that Shazier makes a textbook tackle.

  72. metalman5150 says: Jan 15, 2016 10:55 AM

    The officials didn’t whistle the ‘play’ dead; no, in fact they were whistling to indicate that Gio Bernard was, “dead.”

  73. daysend564 says: Jan 15, 2016 11:09 AM

    Lets hope Broncos land some good “clean hits” to the heads of some Steelers this weekend.

  74. bengalsfreedom says: Jan 15, 2016 11:17 AM

    Bengals D, take note for next years games vs Pittsburgh. Can’t wait.

  75. jm91rs says: Jan 15, 2016 11:27 AM

    I don’t care if he was fined, I don’t care if was legal. I care that The Steelers whined for 8 weeks about Vontaze celebrating the cleanest tackle you’ll ever see (on Bell), then the Steelers dancing at midfield while Gio Bernard is sleeping on the field. You want to celebrate when you put someone to sleep, that’s fine but don’t open your mouth when another team does the same.

  76. jm91rs says: Jan 15, 2016 11:31 AM

    Also I’ll agree that the backlash from this game is severe enough already. Fining him or even fining Porter publicly is probably a very bad PR move for the league. Admitting huge mistakes in officiating isn’t going to help the hatred go away so not talking about it is the best thing for them.

  77. mmmpierogi says: Jan 15, 2016 12:48 PM

    easyeintennessee says:
    Jan 15, 2016 8:29 AM

    There is a great article on SB Nations Cincinnati site, Cincy Jungle, with a ton of video evidence of how badly we got hosed Saturday.


    Are you serious? Of all places, I’m sure SB Nation’s Cincinnati site would provide a balanced, unbiased perspective on this story.

  78. shaggytoodle says: Jan 15, 2016 1:51 PM

    The part of the play that is the worst is him dancing at midfield with 41 while a player is KOD then doing more on the sideline afterwards.

    Clean hit or not, it should be really easy to refrain from dancing in tgat situation.

  79. smasonsmith says: Jan 15, 2016 1:53 PM

    If they’re not going to enforce it, the NFL should remove the prohibitions against spearing – because that’s exactly what this was.

  80. billsboy88 says: Jan 15, 2016 2:41 PM

    Ok so it was “legal” but it doesn’t change the fact that there isn’t a coach from the pee-wees to the pros that would tell you that was a proper way to tackle a man. Shazier actually put himself in danger by leading with the top of his head.

  81. xinellum says: Jan 15, 2016 3:27 PM

    Joke, someone in the league office must have been out smoking PCP with Chandler Jones. Illegal hit that violated the crown of the helmet rule when a player is out of the tackle box. He couldn’t have gotten further out if he was out of bounds. What a piece of crap this is and if I were in the Bengals organization, I’d be blowing up Goodell’s and the league offices phones. These days I better say not really blowing them up, it is a figure of speech to say they will ring the phone off the hook.

  82. westernpaisdirty says: Jan 15, 2016 5:07 PM

    The nice thing is that after Sunday no one will care about the Steelers because they’re going to smacked in Denver. It’s so tiresome to hear about what a warrior Ben is and how tough Ben is. He’s the football version of Curt Schilling. Torn ligaments in his shoulder and he’s playing? Nope. Cannot happen, mechanically the shoulder doesn’t perform that way. So it’s funny how Ben was the only one that reported the severity. Just nonsense, but thankfully it will end Sunday.

  83. westernpaisdirty says: Jan 15, 2016 5:15 PM

    I can’t wait to hear all the crying on Monday. All the if comments…. If Antonio Brown played…. If Ben was healthy….. If Vontaze wasn’t a big bully…. If my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle, it means nothing. The Steelers have zero chance on Sunday. They beat Denver, in Pittsburgh, when they were playing with their back up qb, one of the five or six back ups the Steelers played in the final six games, and without three of their best secondary players. So it’s over. This is where it ends.

  84. stcouch85 says: Jan 15, 2016 5:44 PM

    If the hit on Bernard was a clean, legal hit than the hit on Wheaton was also a clean hit and never should’ve been flagged. Really the Wheaton hit was a much cleaner hit considering it was shoulder to shoulder and Wheaton dropped his shoulder and ran into Williams. Unfortunately there are double standards in every NFL game and the calls are going to go to the team most favored at that time. It’s the way it has been for years. The Steelers got the calls last week but I guarentee Denver will get them Sunday.

  85. westernpaisdirty says: Jan 15, 2016 6:07 PM

    I agree the call is subjective and in this game, a game the refs never had control of from the first play. The hit on Wheaton was clean and this will get everyone upset but the penalty of Burfict was questionable. His feet never left the ground, he led with his shoulder, not his head, and he actually pulled up trying to shy away from contact. Brown was leading with his head in fact.

  86. fanofpft says: Jan 15, 2016 6:11 PM

    Modern day head hunters are ruining our national pastime. Zac Thomas used to knock players out with clean hits.

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