Coming into Monday Night Football, both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals found themselves at 0-3. While neither would be locks to make the playoffs, a fourth consecutive loss surely would eliminate them both. The Steelers, without long-time starting quarterback ‘Big’ Ben Roethlisberger ended up shrugging over the Bengals to win 27-3 in a blowout. Cincy scored the first three points, doing so midway through the first quarter, but they were then stopped from doing much of anything else. Mason Rudolph was solid under center for the Steelers, throwing for 229 yards and two touchdowns on 24-28. It was a case of death by a thousand paper cuts, but the Steelers will still take what they can get. The win, while not appearing to be that great for them, get them to within one game of both the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens, who are each at 2-2. You just never know in the NFL, and if they can keep up playing defense like that, they could challenge in the AFC North if the cards fall just right.
The NFL is taking safety very seriously, and that was made very clear on Monday when it was announced that Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict would be sitting out the rest of the season after an atrocious hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle on Sunday. Doyle was down on his knees and not even looking up when Burfict remained into him head-first. He was initially ejected, but it came down that he will be suspended without pay due to the fact that he has had multiple suspensions related to this sort of behavior. The Raiders just can’t catch a break, even when they win, can they?
A year after seeing star outfielder Bryce Harper cross the division and head to Philadelphia, the Washington Nationals are none too keen to let Anthony Rendon do the same. National viewers may not know the third baseman nearly as well as Harper, but they should such has been his impact on the actual field of play for the Nats. He’s hitting .319 this season and has 34 home runs to go with 126 RBIs. A power hitter that is able to hit for average like that is not out there anymore, so it’s easy to see why, reportedly, they offered him a seven-year deal worth up to $215 million. Despite the offer, it looks like Rendon is still going to wade his toes into the free agent waters, so Washington could once again be without a big, big name come opening day next year. It’s interesting timing for this news to come out, too, with the team getting set to host the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card Game.