To evoke the late Dennis Green, “The Bengals, and Vontaze Burfict, are who we thought they were.”
The Cincinnati Bengals self-destructed late in the fourth quarter (because of course they did) against the New England Patriots in Week 6. Leading the charge over the cliff was linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who again showed why he was voted “Most Likely to Be Hiding a Shiv in His Pads” by his peers for a second consecutive season.
Okay. Maybe that’s not a real category… but in Burfict’s case, it should be.
The latest Burfictian drama came on a third-and-2 play in the fourth quarter Sunday, when he took a cheap shot at the knee of Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett. Burfict was assigned to Bennett in pass coverage, but the play went to another portion of the field some 15 yards away from the two. Even though Brady pump faked in his direction, Bennett gave clear signs that he wasn’t involved in the downfield action. Not to be robbed of an opportunity to make a bad decision, Burfict caught the tight end with his back turned and took a cheap shot from behind, diving low at one of Bennett’s knees.
It’s time to show Burfict the door.
It’s impossible to deny at this point that Burfict is off the chain — a nuclear missile with absolutely no one at the controls. If his erratic behavior was only detrimental to his team, that could be dismissible. As evidenced Sunday, however, he has now become a danger to opposing players. If the league is truly interested in protecting its players (debatable) then this behavior is simply unacceptable.
The league says it will review the play for potential disciplinary action. If there’s any justice at NFL HQ, Burfict will be fined, suspended, and eventually kicked out of the league when he inevitably employs a dirty tactic like that again.
But we all know that NFL HQ wouldn’t know justice if it shoved them into a door so Burfict will probably win AFC Defensive Player of the Week, be named an NFL Play 360 ambassador, and receive a personal congratulatory phone call from Roger Goodell.
NFL reviewing Vontze Burfict low hit on Martellus Bennett, as is customary. A player’s history can factor in to potential discipline.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 17, 2016
If the cheap shot at Bennett wasn’t bad enough, the league is also reviewing a portion of the game where Burfict did his best Christian Laettner impression on LeGarrette Blount after he scored a touchdown.
Video: From coaches film (courtesy NFL), watch Vontaze Burfict (55) deliberately step on Blount’s leg after TD. pic.twitter.com/wtTPqy3XHP
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 17, 2016
Stay classy, Vontaze.
For the Bengals, this is just another pitiful chapter of the team’s sad and predictable descent back into a cesspool of mediocrity — another talented NFL roster gone to waste. It’s almost like the organization is chronically devoid of poise and leadership. They had better be careful; the unhinged play that results from those key deficiencies could wind up costing them a playoff game…
Oh. Wait. My bad.