CINCINNATI — A knockout hit by Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict wound up knocking the Bengals out of the playoffs — yet again.
Thanks to Burfict's headhunting hit to the helmet of Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown — followed by an unsportsmanlike call on the Bengals after the play — the Steelers pulled off an 18-16 victory in a wild card game, clinching with a 35-yard field goal by Chris Boswell.
The rain-soaked crowd, delirious just minutes earlier, watched in devastated disbelief. Orange crushed.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had to be carted to the locker room late in the game with a right shoulder injury (the result of another Burfict hit), came...