So, I’m watching the Cincinnati/Pittsburgh game on Saturday night and I’m reflecting on all of the calls to the Vinny and Rob Show about the Baltimore Ravens being the least disciplined team in the National Football League. Not that I’ve ever agreed with that, but Saturday night’s prime time event was visual proof that while the Ravens have issues with discipline, they are far from having the issues that I saw on the field in that game.
I think there’s a thin line between intensity and stupidity in a football game and we saw that line crossed in the Bengals/Steelers match-up. Both teams toed that line throughout the contest but in the end it was Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones who allowed themselves to be roped into the moment and ultimately costing their team the season.
Marvin Lewis has been here before. He’s had players who have bordered being out of control and sometimes demonstrating a lack of control. This goes back to his days with Chad Johnson and Chad Henry. Burfict was a player who had first round talent at Arizona State but was taken by the Bengals as a free agent due to his non-football issues. That was an organizational decision, but Lewis is taking the criticism for what took place on Saturday, seemingly alone.
This is what the Cincinnati Bengals organization has done. They’ve taken chances on players in the past and some have paid off and some have not. Vontaze Burfict paid off in one possession with a huge interception. He committed a costly error in the very next possession which was a key to his team losing the game.
Maybe character has a lot to do with the success of a lot of teams including John Harbaugh’s Ravens in recent years. Yes, it takes talent to win in the NFL, but we see character or the lack of it can cost you a season.