By Tim Peterson
Vontaze Burfict is the perfect example of a guy with million dollar talent and a ten cent brain. And they were both on display Saturday night.
A big sack of Ben Roethlisberger and a pick of Landry Jones that appeared to seal the victory for the Cincinnati Bengals was the million dollar talent and the late hit on Antonio Brown that sealed the loss for the Bengals was the ten cent brain.
Adam Jones subsequent personal foul was the death knell for Cincinnati who hasn’t won a playoff game in 25 years. It’s just stunning to me how a professional athlete can go brain dead at such an important juncture of the game.
It’s nothing new for Burfict who has been called a dirty player dating all the way back to his high school days. Great, he knocked out Brown. But he also knocked his team out of the playoffs. Isn’t winning the ultimate goal?
Does Bengal Head Coach Marvin Lewis take any heat here for having Burfict on the field? Burfict was was a ticking time bomb all night and needed some time to calm down. At the very least shouldn’t Lewis be accountable for not controlling his team?
I have no dog in the fight but you have to feel for Minnesota Viking kicker Blair Walsh. He was on point all day before shanking a potential game winning field goal at point blank range. It just shows you that yes, professional players, just like in high school or college, feel pressure. That was the true definition of a choke. There’s no other real explanation.
No matter who your team is you have to love the NFL playoffs. The Cincinnati-Pittsburgh and Seattle- Minnesota games provided more drama in three hours than most sports do in a full season.
With Noel Mazzone leaving UCLA to take over as OC at Texas A&M and Lane Kiffin having revived his career at Alabama, does Kiffin now go to UCLA? Kiffin’s family is still based in Southern California. Just something to think about.
The East-West All-Star game at West Covina on January 30 has been well documented but there is another All-Star game this weekend. This Sunday January 17 the Inland Valley Classic will take place at AB Miller High School in Fontana. Chino’s Jesse Ceniceros will coach the West and Kaiser’s Phil Zelaya will coach the East. Kick off is set for 5:30 p.m.
Back to the Bengals. Poll question: Should Cincinnati HC Marvin Lewis be fired? He has an overall record of 112-95-2 with four Division titles but is 0-7 in the playoffs. Post your opinion on the comments below.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @tspeterson40.