On August 19th, the Bengals lost to Chiefs 30-12. During that game a routine hit later sparked concern. Anthony Sherman of the Chiefs came out of the backfield and cut across the middle of the field on a passing play. About 3 yards past the line of scrimmage, Alex Smith looked down at Sherman and then flung the ball downfield. Burfict read Smith’s eyes, and stepped into Sherman. Well, it was a pretty vicious “step”. Burfict unleashed a shoulder-to-chest hit that took Sherman off of his feet. It was a great hit. No flag was called, nobody butted heads, they were just playing football. But leave it to the NFL to screw Burfict and the Bengals.
The NFL had this play brought to their attention a few days later, and they gave Burfict a 5 game suspension (shortened to 3 games). Now look… The play was legal (Shoulder to chest, hit within 5 yards). The play was not flagged. Nobody talked about it possibly being a bad hit. It clearly wasn’t targeting. Was it maybe unnecessary? Yeah, it was. Everything Burfict does is a little unnecessary, but it’s his style of play. A small fine? Maybe. A 1 game suspension? Stretching it. But 5 games? Are you kidding me? Ezekiel Elliott is suspended 6 games for abusing a women. Burfict makes a good hit and is now out for 5 games? Sounds petty to me. It’s simple why this happened though. It’s his history. Time and time again Burfict is fined or suspended for questionable hits. His record is definitely not “clean”. The NFL knows his history with these kind of things, so when they see a hit like this from him, they take action. But, Burfict appealed and was given a 3 game suspension instead…. Lets look at how that’ll affect the Bengals.
Week 1- Baltimore Ravens: We will be fine. The Ravens drafted defensively in this years draft. Flacco hasn’t been able to practice or play so he’ll be cold. Everybody that the Ravens had hope for, got hurt. The Bengals will not look bad without Burfict this game. I expect a Bengals win.
Week 2- Houston Texans: This one will hurt. A lot? Nope. But it’ll hurt. Houston doesn’t have a spectacular offense, but Houston + a prime time game is always trouble for us. I still believe we’ll pull through with a win, but Burfict could’ve made that a lot easier. I expect a tough game, but a win nonetheless.
Week 3- Green Bay Packers: This one will hurt the most. I’m predicting the Bengals to lose this game, and without Burfict, it only strengthens my point. Green Bay has a Spectacular Offense, and without our hard-hitting defensive stud, we’ll be in big trouble.
Burfict will return against the Browns, in a game where the Bengals probably wouldn’t need him, but It’ll be fun to watch him destroy a inexperienced Brown’s offense.
All in all, the Burfict 3-Game suspension shouldn’t kill the Bengal’s season. They’ll be fine without him, and amazing with him. In his absence, guys like Nick Vigil, Kevin Minter, and Vincent Rey will get some time to shine. Vigil will be fun to watch and Rey deserves some playing time. Also, Burfict recently signed a 3 year, 38 million dollar contract extension. This was well derserved and the Bengals made a good move there. Burfict will remain a Bengal for now. Keep doing your thing Vontaze.