By Cheval John
The National Football League (NFL) playoffs began yesterday.
You can say that the playoffs set the tone for what we are anticipating to see.
Except someone forgot to tell the Houston Texans.
The Texans was shutout by the Kansas City Chiefs 30-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 71,000 people at NRG Stadium.
It was the worst loss in playoff history for the Texans.
Video courtesy of NFL
The last time Houston, who was at the time the Oilers (now Tennessee Titans) experienced a loss in the opening round of the playoffs was in 1993 against the same Kansas City team.
Joe Montana,who was a former San Francisco 49er quarterback, led the Chiefs to a 24-21 nailbiter at the Astrodome.
What is ironic is that another former 49ner by the name of Alex Smith, led the Chiefs to that epic beatdown that left the city of Houston wondering why they could not score a single touchdown.
In reality, the Texans was doomed from the start when Knile Davis returned the opening kick-off for a 106-yard touchdown that took the life out of the crowd.
The kick-off return was the second longest in playoff history.
Then the Texans offense could not muster a drive for most of the matchup as Brian Hoyer, a.k.a., Mr. Interception waiting to happen, threw four interceptions and had a fumble.
One of those interceptions happened when the Texans were in the red zone as they were trailing 13-0 at the closing minutes of the second quarter.
Before that, head coach Bill O’Brien send out J.J. Watt, who led the league in sacks,and Vincent Wolfork out on offense to try and throw off the Chiefs’ defense.
Watt, who was suffering from a hamstring injury and a broken bone in his wrist, was stopped at the line of scrimmage for a 1-yard loss.
Then “Mr. Interception waiting to happen,” threw an interception that killed the drive and hope of a chance for the Texans to make a comeback.
The fans booed their team like they deserved.
And despite the worst loss in playoff history, I still see the Texans and their fans as being one of the classiest and well-run organizations in the NFL.
Which leads me to the Cincinnati Bengals and their fans’ lack of class.
The Bengals was trying to win their first playoff game since 1990 when Boomer Esiason was their quarterback.
Cincinnati’s previous 6 losses were heartbreakers.
Many were questioning if head coach Marvin Lewis, who have a 112-90 regular season record with the Bengals was the correct person to be their coach since all of his previous 6 playoff appearances were losses.
But before we get into the implosion of the Bengals, let’s focus on the fans.
When Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlesberger went down with a shoulder injury, the fans not only cheered, but they threw stuff towards his direction.
That classlessness by the Bengals fan base made the Philadelphia Eagles’ fans look like saints.
It was clear that they were bad blood between the Bengals and Steelers.
However, one have to understand that it is just a game and life moves on.
The fact that some of the fans or the majority of them threw stuff at Roethlesberger showed their true characters.
And maybe their disgraceful behavior inspired the Bengals defense to commit two stupid penalties on one play with less than a 1 minute left that allowed the Steelers to kick a game-winning field goal.
The Bengals scored 16 unanswered points to take a 16-15 lead with about two minutes left.
Then Jeremy Hill fumbled the football trying to run out the clock.
During the Steelers march across the field, Roethlesberger fired a pass for receiver Antonio Brown and Brown missed the football.
On that same play, defensive player Vontanze Burfict hit Brown in the head and was called for a 15-yard unneccesary roughness penalty.
During that moment when the referees was discussing the penalty, Bengals’ defensive player Adam Jones threw a punch at Steelers’ assistant Joey Porter that led to another 15 yard penalty on the Bengals.
All of a sudden, the Steelers was in field goal range and they were able to convert the game-winning field goal that sent the Bengals packing.
Video courtesy of NFL
If those two stupid penalties did not occur, Cincinnati would have broken their playoff winless streak and Mr. Lewis would not have to worry about having an 0-7 playoff record.
However, this also shows the lack of leadership that Cincinnati has because coach Lewis allowed his team to lose control.
He did not stress to his team that despite the bad blood, they had to maintain their professionalism during critical moments of the game against the Steelers.
If an employee was to act like an idiot during an important meeting with a potential client that would lead to them gaining business for their company for the better, the CEO and executives would not only fire that employee, they would fire their boss as well.
The reason is because the employees are a reflection of their bosses.
If they act correctly for the better, then their bosses will look good in front of the CEO.
In this case, the lack of discipline by the Bengals defense made coach Lewis look bad in front a national audience.
And if coach Lewis is not fired because of the mediocrity and lack of discipline that the Bengals shown during his time as their coach, then the Bengals organization is sending a message that we accept mediocrity.