Bengals Vontaze Burfict fined $7,875 for faskmask against the Bills

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker was called for three 15-yard penalties against the Buffalo Bills last week. It's the facemask that's making Burfict's wallet slightly thinner.

Bengals linebacker was flagged for three penalties that drew 15-yard infractions, two of them personal fouls for a late hit and a helmet-to-helmet contact. According to Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Burfict will not be fined for either of those hits.

However, his first quarter facemask on Fred Jackson cost him $7,875. Here's the play.


The other penalties were far more suspicious. The first happened with over ten minutes remaining in the first quarter when Burfict landed on a scrambling Thad Lewis, who slid to avoid the contact after a four-yard gain.


The officials called unnecessary roughness, moving Buffalo from the Bengals 20-yard line to the eight. Generally speaking, officials usually don't flag this if the defender was already in the act of making a tackle prior to the quarterback's decision to slide. While Wallace Gilberry was, Burfict wasn't.


Burfict's final personal foul was far more suspicious -- alright, it was the worst of worse calls. The Bills have third and three from the Bills 41-yard line with 5:43 remaining in the second quarter. Lewis hits receiver T.J. Graham over the middle for a four-yard gain, giving the Bills a first down.

A flag was thrown. Burfict was called for helmet to helmet contact. After Solomon Wilcots stopped giggling at the preposterous flag, he says, "You've got to be able to play football." This is the flag that got Marvin Lewis, who usually has a calm demeanor on the sidelines, fired up.

The play.


Graham's head didn't even move.

A cleaner view.


"I’m pretty sure (the NFL) is going to review it, but I didn’t think it was a flag," said Burfict after the game recounting all three flags. "The quarterback dove, I had left my feet already and he dove at my legs. They said I led with my helmet, the other was a facemask, my facemask had been pulled. I just reached my arm out and got his facemask. The helmet to helmet one I thought I had the ball in my hands."

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