The Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers made a lot of headlines from their 2016 Wild Card matchup.
Between Vontaze Burfict's suspension-inducing hit on Antonio Brown, Ryan Shazier knocking out Giovani Bernard, multiple blown calls by referees, Steelers assistant Joey Porter illegally being on the field, and that dreaded last-minute personal foul barrage that ultimately buried the Bengals, that was a day the Bengals would probably rather forget.
Six months later, the game continues to be brought up as the NFL is making rule changes linked to that fateful day, even when we all would rather move past it and look forward to the 2016 season. At least with the changes the NFL is making, we hopefully will never see a debacle like that game ever happen again.
According to ESPN's Kevin Seifert, the NFL is adopting a new rule that will prevent assistant coaches from being allowed on the field at any point during games, like the aforementioned Porter did during the Wild Card game, which helped provoke the Bengals and draw a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that set up Pittsburgh for a chip-shot, game-winning field goal.
Head coaches are the only coaches allowed on the field during games, and it is permissible for no reason other than to check on injured players. This adjustment was aimed at Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebackers coach Joey Porter, who wandered onto the field during a Wild Card playoff game in January against the Cincinnati Bengals.
So to recap:
1. Martavis Bryant's touchdown catch should not have counted.
2. Shazier's hit on Bernard should have been a 15-yard penalty putting the Bengals in the red zone vs instead being a fumble recovery for Pittsburgh. (This rule has been clarified over the offseason, too.)
3. Porter should have been flagged for being on the field and, at worst, led to offsetting penalties, but instead, Adam Jones was flagged for pushing him.
4. NFL referees have become the equivalent of WWE refs.
5. Is Week 1 here yet?
6. Is Week 1 here yet?
In all seriousness, can we just move past this now?