Saturday playoff games are a treat, mostly because we at Inside The Pylon are not publishing the next day, and can just watch the games. When we do watch, we chat. And here, for your reading pleasure, our Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Wild Card chat.
Shane: If McCarron pulls a Hoyer, I really do have to leave the football community. If he pulls a Brady, drinks are on me tonight.
Aidan: Wow those are opposite ends of the spectrum there.
Also, Andy Dalton puts WAY too much effort into his hair.
David M: Shane, if McCarron pulls a Hoyer it was his first playoff game against a defense that already saw him in person. In other words, Bengals gonna be Bengals.
Craig: I’m rooting for whoever can beat New England. I’m unsure which team tonight does that.
David M: Pittsburgh is bigger threat, if only because of Ben Roethlisberger. But I know you can’t root for the Steelers. C’mon man.
Craig : Yeah, that’s true. (Editor’s Note: Craig is a Seahawks fan.)
Chuck Z: Bengals have a slight special teams edge, FYI.
Aidan: I’ve seen this bandied about on Twitter, if McCarron plays well and leads CIN to a win, do the Bengals let him start next week?
Shane: I say start McCarron.
Chuck Z: McCarron.
David M: AJ would need to play really well, because start him again and have him win again… and you’re trading Andy Dalton in the offseason.
Aidan: Let’s say CIN wins… McCarron vs. a Belichick defense? I’d be apprehensive if I was Lewis.
Chuck Z: Any idea what Dalton would be worth in trade? 3rd or 4th?
David M: Dalton would be worth a 1 to Mike Brown, if not more than that. I don’t know what Dalton would be worth to other teams.
Aidan: I’d give a 3rd for Dalton based on this season, but who knows what learning a new offense would do to him
Pete: What would Hue Jackson trade for him?
Aidan: Good point Pete.
[Editor’s Note: Kickoff]
David M: That a was nice decision – throwing to Eifert instead of running.
Mark: Flow within structure.
Shane: AJ throwing across the field and his arm didn’t fall off. Color. Me. Shocked.
Craig: Well that was a really idiotic late hit.
Coach fight! That was really weird.
David M: OK, Mike Tomlin. We get it. You can put your arms down
Mark: Look, if anyone is gonna come on the field, it’s Tomlin.
Pete: What!? Tomlin wouldn’t do something like that.
Craig: He did push him – the coach that is. What an idiot.
David M: Yep, Mike Munchak lost his mind for a second.
Craig: He tries to swing the player out of the way by his hair. Definitely a penalty.
Pete: I’ve been saying it since week 1, Mike Carey is awful at this.
Craig: This game might become a full fledged brawl.
David M: Mike Carey might be the worst TV “personality” in the history of TV. He makes the “BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE” kid sound suave and knowledgeable. And he is always wrong.
Mark: Zodda must be digging this punt fest.
David M: First game was decided by a ST play. It’s been a good day for #thirdphase
Pete: Stay classy AFC North.
Shane: Ravens, Steelers, Bengals hate each other and will cross the proverbial line at a moment’s notice… and then there’s the Browns.
Aidan: What a weak fumble.
Shane: Go play-action deep to Green right here. With Eifert & Sanu crossing at different levels & Hill leaking out for the check down. Jugular play.
Mark: CBS lose audio? Wouldn’t be the worst thing. Reminds me of the 2013 Red Sox ALCS games where if you pressed the SAP button, you got the crowd noise only.
Chuck Z: Anyone else enjoy the silent game?
David M: Immensely.
Pete: Wow, this game is awful.
Mark: Sweet punt.
Shane: What the hell throw? Kill me now.
Aidan: Bill Belichick is rubbing his hands together with a wicked grin on his face right now.
Chuck Z: Today has to be the worst case scenario for the NFL, right?
Mark: At least it isn’t New Year’s Eve Chuck.
Pete: Yeah, doubt the halftime rating will be great. Well, they’ll be great, but not by NFL standards.
David M: Shane, I’m pretty sure that ball sailed because it slipped out of his hand a bit because of rain.
Shane: Yeah, you’re making too much sense. My Twitter mentions are savage.
Mark: McCarron’s working with a glove right now. Might help.
Pete: Only one team has scored today, that’s sad.
David M: Did both of these teams get thrown off their game by the tight officiating? Like, did they expect to be able to WWF things up in a Saturday night playoff game?
John: I’m starting to think these two teams are not going to combine for 46 or more points.
Dave A: Rice mention!
Chuck Z: Chris Boswell has a really clean swing. It’s really good. Relaxed approach, not overly torquey so he shouldn’t have accuracy issues, and beautiful skip step from the left hash.
Chuck Z: Boswell has a really clean motion. Impressive for an undrafted free agent. Especially out of Rice ?
Shane: Hey you know that quicksand thing in The Replacements? The weather sucks, McCarron throws a duck, McCarron puts on gloves having never worn gloves, McCarron’s presses & his internal clock speeds up. The more he struggles, the deeper he sinks.
Mark: Yeah, basically.
David M: My favorite scene in any football movie, ever.
Mark: Pretty sure Dave’s favorite moment this season was my quicksand reference during the Wentz RSP.
David M: I marked out. Quite literally.
Pete: That was a good hit. Oh, I guess he grazed his helmet.
Chuck Z: That’s a clean hit.
Pete: He wasn’t defenseless.
David M: How is Markus Wheaton defenseless there? He prepped to be hit by lowering his pads and helmet.
Chuck Z: Awful call.
Philip: John Lynch would not have been long for the 2015 NFL. He made a career out of those hits.
Chuck Z: And the problem is if you can’t do that you start raising the risk of knee injuries with people going too low.
David M: Steve Atwater would not be a HOF candidate.
Shane: I’m from Alabama. If you call a flag on that hit in a backyard, HS, or college game, you’re getting your car keyed or worse.
Aidan Curran: Mike Tomlin still wearing that soaked cotton pullover acting like it’s not the most uncomfortable thing in the world.
David M: Tomlin’s mother wants him to put on a rain slicker or a poncho. He’s gonna catch a cold in that cotton sweatshirt getting rained on.
“That was one of those formations.” – Phil Simms
Mark: Benny Hill.
David M: What just happened?
Craig: What in the world just happened?
Dave A: I should have found a late cookie party to attend.
David M: This is the kind of game that gets Marvin fired, btw.
Craig: That’s a fumble. But he’s down right there and it shouldn’t be a touchdown.
David M: Mike Carey says TD, so the guy was down, no TD. Martavis Bryant is marvelous.
Craig: That was such an awesome angle by the defender, Dre Kirkpatrick. He knew he couldn’t get him straight on, so he ran stride for stride at an angle and saved a touchdown.
David M: Yep, and good use of the sideline as an “extra defender.”
Craig: And that is why that play was so important by Kirkpatrick. Keeps the Bengals right in this game.
Aidan: Feels like this game has been going on forever. How are there still 9 minutes left in the 3rd quarter?
Craig: Holy shit, what a catch.
Pete: That ball was moving a lot. Though I don’t know if that was a touchdown.
Dave A: I don’t think that’s a catch.
Pete: Jim Nantz doesn’t think there’s any chance of it being overturned, so it is probably incomplete.
Aidan: I think that’s a catch.
Dave A: Looked to me like he got both hands on it, totally let go while re-catching, and only got one foot in after establishing control.
Philip: But what does Mike Carey say?
Pete: He fell asleep.
David M: Going for 2 and mucking it up. Love when that happens.
Philip: Gio Bernard not interested in catching the ball tonight.
David M: Tomlin is gonna get pneumonia. He just changed into a dry sweatshirt. Just put on a rain jacket, you horse’s ass.
Craig: Nice throw, AJ. Man, he has not covered himself in glory tonight.
Aidan: That looked like a forward pass. Oops, Mike Carey said it’s a forward pass, nevermind.
Dave A: Clearly forward.
David M: Good point by Simms: nice job by Keith Butler calling the defense tonight; McCarron has had no time.
Pete: How is that not a defenseless receiver?
Aidan: RIP Gio Bernard.
David M: Ryan Shazier should be ejected. THAT is targeting.
Craig: How is there no penalty flag?
Philip: Bernard was out cold before he hit the ground.
Andy: That’s a great spear to the chin.
Chuck Z: I don’t get penalties. The other one was nothing. This is lowering the head clearly.
Philip: The refs have no clue what is a penalty and what isn’t.
Shane: What’s a Flag? What’s a Catch? A Existential Football Series by Shane Alexander.
Aidan: I think Bernard was a defenseless receiver, yes he spun around but he didn’t start running…
Pete: Isn’t that EXACTLY what they allegedly want to get rid of in football?
Craig: Can you get ejected for targeting in the NFL? Or is that just a college rule?
David M: College rule. But the refs can throw a guy out for stuff like that.
The “right” call here is rather sickening. Shazier TARGETED Bernard’s head and knocked him out, then recovered the fumble. Pete’s right – this is what they SAY they don’t want. But it is absolute bullshit.
Craig: Feels like Cincinnati is going to retaliate now.
David M: This is about to get out of control, Craig
Aidan: Vontaze Burfict is going head-hunting. Still a WHOLE QUARTER left for something else to happen.
Pete: Oh no… not Ben.
Aidan: Oh dear God now Roethlisberger.
David M: Burfict might have just LEGALLY hurt Roethlisberger.
Aidan: Looked like the good ol’ Tony Romo AC joint/clavicle injury mechanism.
David: Broncos are going to get Landry Jones in the divisional round, aren’t they?
Philip: Of course they are.
Shane: First time Burfict has legally hurt someone.
David M: Bengals are back in this game, baby.
Craig: Well, in theory. They still have McCarron throwing up shit burgers.
Philip: Hue finally called for “The Flacco.”
John: The ol’ pass interference play, as my ol’ man used to call it.
Aidan: Landry Jones vs. AJ McCarron in the playoffs, what a time to be alive!
Aidan: Landry Jones time baby!
Dave A: “Tom Selleck’s stunt double from Magnum PI is sent 20 years into the future to QB the Steelers in the playoffs.”
David M: 30 years. 1980-88.
Dave A: Noooooo, why am I so old?
Aidan: Time for an A.J. McCarron 86-yard TD drive, buckle up!
Chuck Z: Tyler Eifert has hands issues. I’ve seen it a lot this year.
Shane: Bengals skill players sabotaging A.J.
Aidan: Hell of a throw from A.J.
Pete: Eifert cares now.
Chuck Z: Debatable. He’s J.D. Drew’s cousin.
Aidan: Keith Butler dialing up the interior pressure up the A gaps now
David M: Whoever wins this game is gonna be so beat up they might fall over getting off the plane next week.
Aidan: Bengals better go for 2 if they score. I would go for it…
Chuck Z: Here comes the kicker.
David M: BOO
Aidan: Still going to need a touchdown.
David M: Exactly.
Philip: Yep. I’d go for it.
Chuck Z: Two more of those and they’re good.
Pete: I just went to the bathroom and came back to them kicking a FG… why?
Dave A: I don’t have an issue with the FG there. Landry Jones is Pittsburgh’s QB. if Ben is in there, you gotta go for the TD. But the D oughta be able to get an easy stop and the chance of Jones doing something awful is reasonably high
Pete: That’s a fair point.
Aidan: But you still need a TD!!!! Marvin Lewis gonna Marvin Lewis.
Craig: But you no longer need a two-point conversion. Plus, if you give up a field goal you still only have to get one touchdown.
Dave A: And even if you get a TD and a two-point conversion, it still just ties the game. You need two scores to win.
Mark: Ben is back on the field according to Twitter. IMO, he’s been a bit of a drama queen when it comes to injuries in his career.
David M: Eh, Paul Pierce and the wheelchair forever changed what is excessive in that area, Mark.
Mark: Staying on the sidelines though. Pierce gets the Oscar for sure, but Ben has earned a lifetime achievement award.
David M: The James Brown Hardest Working Man In Football Lifetime Achievement Award. Good god. Can I get some hits? I need those hits!
Pete: I told you guys they should have kicked that FG.
Philip: Whew. He didn’t turn around.
Aidan: Hell of a return, shocked there were no flags.
Chuck Z: Adam Jones has such good footwork as a returner.
Dave A: OK, so a couple more first downs, kick the FG, one more stop, one more FG drive.
Aidan: Why did Big Ben even bother coming back out in the pouring rain.
David M: Only 2 active QB. Jones gets dinged up and Antonio Brown is taking snaps (I would guess).
Aidan: Ah, true.
Aidan: Good for A.J.
Mark: Great manipulation of the safeties by McCarron.
Craig: Wow. Nice play call.
Mark: What the heck was that Hue?
Philip: Lotta time for a FG. They’ll go Roethlisberger on this drive..
Mark: Ball game.
Aidan: Oh goodness.
Philip: Landry Jones with a terrible INT.
Mark: Wait. Did Burfict run the wrong way into the wrong end zone?
David M: He did.
Mark: Was he down?
Pete: It would be pretty awesome if he wasn’t. But he was.
Philip: I’m almost rooting for not down just for chaos.
Aidan: No way.
David M: This game. Jeremy Hill fumbled?!
Aidan: Stop this madness! I can’t even.
Dave A: Someone hit the Buffalo Wild Wings button again.
Craig: Ball is out.
Shane: This game, man.
David M: Its Shazier vs. Burfict:
Anything you can do, I can do better
I can do anything better than you
Craig: Oh my god. Roethlisberger is back. I think I have to root for the Steelers now. This is epic.
Aidan: ALL THE STORYLINES. ALL THE EXCITEMENT.
David M: Nantz almost went full Suzyn Waldman there.
Aidan: I go deep right here if I’m the Steelers.
Mark: Cincy took a timeout?
David M: Marvin did not look happy about it, either.
Aidan: Looked like Brown was 1-on-1 against Pacman Jones.
Philip: I would call a timeout too, then.
Dave A: At this point there’s so little time left, you can’t really play for the next drive.
Philip: Ben on the scramble drill is bad news for the Bengals.
Pete: If he can throw it downfield.
Mark: He can’t throw. That was a shot put.
Andy: Great play by Carlos Dunlap to sniff the screen and drop back.
Pete: Yeah, they’re not even trying to go downfield.
Mark: What a tackle.
Aidan: That would’ve been at least a 15 yard gain.
Jeremy Turner: Looked like he had a line to the sideline too.
Aidan: NO WAY!
Mark: Personal foul.
Aidan: Was that on Burfict? Oh man.
Pete: Wow, that was bad.
Mark: That was horrific.
Craig: Hoyer shit that was awful.
Philip: Horrible hit. Just awful.
Craig: He could have killed him.
Aidan: He was certainly head-hunting.
Dan Graulich: Can’t believe that isn’t an ejection.
Philip: Didn’t even need to hit him either.
Aidan: Has to be a suspension. Even if they wind up winning this game.
David M: Live by the Burfict, die by the Burfict.
Philip: Oh Pacman.
Andy: There’s a joke in here about at least the refs are consistent on their head hunting penalties.
Mark: Another penalty?
Pete: Why do players feel the need to plead with referees? I mean, I get it a little bit, but you’ve been playing for long enough to know nothing good comes from it.
Mark: Just handed that game to them.
Pete: What did Pacman do?
Craig: What was the second penalty?
David M: Pacman unsportsmanlike. Jim Nantz trying to get Burfict and Pacman lifetime bans.
Craig: Why did they kick on first down?
Dave A: No timeouts.
Philip: Burfict and Jones gave the Steelers 30 free yards.
Aidan: So… does Lewis deserve to keep his job?
David M: Bengals now 0-7 under Lewis in the playoffs, with this being an UGLY home loss that is directly because the team employs guys like Burfict and Pacman.
Does Lewis choose who to keep and who to play in CIN? If so, those guys and their consistent lack of discipline is on Lewis.
Mark: Pacman threw a punch at Joey Porter, now a coach.
Dan G: Why is Joey Porter even allowed on the field to get punched?
Mark: He was helping Brown off the field.
Philip: Joey Porter from Bakersfield. Rep yo city.
Pete: Yeah, he’s a coach, so he shouldn’t be on the field.
Dan G: Porter wasn’t anywhere near Brown when he got into it with Jones.
Pete: He was on the field to do exactly what he did.
Andy: Being an NFC guy I never understood the PIT hate before. Tonight changed that for me.
Dan G: Their bandwagon fans are the worst. I lived in Pittsburgh for a number of years, so I lived it.
David M: Whoa. Bill Cowher just blamed Lewis for “not controlling his team” and said “this is on the head coach.”
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