Burfict, Jones address late penalties in Bengals loss to Steelers


Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones made their frustration clear after the Cincinnati Bengals somehow threw away the chance to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL playoffs.

The Bengals appeared poised to end a 25-year playoff drought when they held a 16-15 lead heading into the closing moments of Saturday's match at Paul Brown Stadium.

However, Burfict drilled Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in the head following an incompletion, drawing a penalty to keep the Steelers' final drive alive, and the visitors were then put into field-goal range following a subsequent personal foul by Jones. 

Burfict's hit set off a scuffle in the middle of the field as Steelers trainers and coaches came onto the field to check on Brown, who was later diagnosed with a concussion.

One of those coaches was Steelers linebackers coach Joey Porter, who played for Pittsburgh from 1999-2006. In a profanity-laced rant on Instagram that has since been deleted, Jones said Porter was "talking [trash]" to the Bengals players and, as an assistant coach, should not have been on the field. When Jones responded to Porter, he was hit with a 15-yard personal foul. 

A calmer Jones later posted another, more family-friendly video to Instagram.

"I'm good now," he said. "I've had my 10 minutes, but I still don't believe I should've got a flag for talking to a coach that's on the field behind the huddle. That's my opinion."

After both flags were thrown, Burfict tried pleading his case to both Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and the game officials.

"I was just telling the coach there were coaches out there that were cussing out athletes," Burfict told reporters in the locker room. "He shouldn't be on the field cussing us out. It was Joey Porter. The refs heard it all, but threw the flag on Adam."

Burfict did not answer any other questions after the game, simply responding to every inquiry with "I don't know".

What he does know is his team is out of the playoffs and he played a role in that defeat because of a needless penalty.

The irony of the situation is Burfict would have been a game hero had it not been for the late penalty. His fourth-quarter sack of Ben Roethlisberger knocked the Steelers quarterback out of the game. He then intercepted Roethlisberger's replacement, Landry Jones, to give the Bengals the ball with under two minutes remaining.

A Jeremy Hill fumble on the next play gave the ball back to Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger went back in and drove the Steelers to midfield, where the Bengals appeared to have them beaten before Burfict and Jones lost their composure at the worst possible time.