The Pittsburgh Steelers are crying over some hits by Bengals LB, Vontaze Burfict, claiming he was trying to injure Antonio Brown.
Of course, he was.
I am not a fan of either team, but for one side to attempt to claim victim-hood is ridiculous. This rivalry has featured many cheap shots going back decades.
Kimo von Oelhoffen, a former defensive lineman for the Steelers, infamously dove at the knees of Bengals QB, Carson Palmer in the 2005 Wildcard Playoff game. He not only dove at his knees, he then rolled up on his knee. Cincinnati had a stacked team and had dismantled the Steelers in their previous matchup. One cheap shot later, Palmer had a torn ACL and MCL, and the Bengals were on their way home.
During the 2016 playoffs, the game was marred by back-to-back unsportsmanlike penalties against the Bengals, which placed the Steelers in FG range. The first was on a cheap shot by Burfict to the head of Antonio Brown and the second was on Adam Jones.
Lost in the chaos were two plays/incidents, which went unpenalized by the Steelers.
Ryan Shazier knocked Gio Bernard out of the game with an egregious hit with the crown of his helmet. Of course, this type of shot was Shazier’s calling card until another hit ended his own career.
The second incident was when Joey Porter, a Pittsburgh coach and former dirty player, started talking trash to Bengals players, which led to Adam Jones getting called for unsportsmanlike behavior. When dealing with Porter, the only unsportsmanlike behavior would be using a 2x4.
Neither Porter nor Shazier were penalized.
So, please spare me the crocodile tears and hand wringing over Burfict’s actions this Sunday.
That being said, I do believe the league should just suspend Burfict for the season. With the NFL’s emphasis on player safety, they can’t continue to employ Vontaze.
For the 2nd week in a row, Josh Bynes and Hasaan Reddick saw the majority of snaps and are the only LBs worth rostering. Get out your shiv and cut Deone Bucannon.
Budda Baker found enlightenment dropping 9 tackles and a FR.
Foye Oluokun passed Duke Riley in snaps for the first time on Sunday, completing his ascension to the main role. However, playing 61% of the snaps means he should be rostered, but is not startable, yet.
Za’Darius Smith aided and abetted the vicious mugging of Marcus Mariota by committing 4 total tackles, 3 TFL, 1 FF, and 3 sacks.
Matt Milano is quietly having a great season. PFF has him graded at 79.6, and he is currently the 18th highest scoring LB. With 42 tackles, 3 FR, 1 sack, and 3 passes defensed, he is a must start LB for the rest of the season. Buffalo may have a great pair of young backers to build their defense around.
Thomas Davis is back, baby. Appearing in 89% of the snaps, Davis is pushing Shaq Thompson to the bench. Thompson was the Orlando Shaq, but is not the Celtic Shaq. Don’t cut him, but monitor the situation.
Khalil Mack played through an injured ankle, so don’t be worried about his subpar performance. All should be fine as the ankle heals up.
Kyle Fuller lit up the Midway with 7 total tackles and 2 interceptions.
Nick Vigil was injured against the Steelers and Vincent Rey was his backup. Not much to see here.
Vontaze Burfict played in 84% of the snaps against the Steelers. Plenty of time for him to get a few cheap shots in. He should be rostered and starting in most leagues. At least until he is suspended for being Burfict.
Bradley Chubb worked off some lbs hitting QBs this weekend, as he recorded 3 sacks, 3 TFL, and 5 total tackles.
Jerome Baker out-snapped Raekwon McMillan for the 2nd time this season. Baker had 63% of the snaps in Miami victory. Baker did have a poor week statistically, but he should be on a roster. Ideally, we don’t want to start him till he is playing in over 80% of the snaps.
Despite playing well in week 5, Tyler Matakevich returned to the bench with Vince Williams return. Vince seemed to be playing with more fire on Sunday. Matakevich can be, should be, and must be cut in all leagues.
Good Luck this week.
Thanks for all of the feedback you have given me. Please reach out via twitter, @jjwenner.
IDP and Dynasty Writer