Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 1/7/13
Excitement was nearly non-existent in this year’s NFL Wild Card round, which featured four fairly dull games. Even the expected awesome showdown between rookie sensations Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson turned out to be a dud when we ended up with half a RG3 in the second half. However, an unexciting environment is also one that is conducive to learning. And I learned the following things this weekend: -The Bengals will always be the Bengals. You can put the Bengals in the playoffs, but that isn’t going to stop them from being Bengals. The combination of Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton did very little to convince anyone they are capable of winning a playoff game for Cincinnati. And at some point, just getting to the postseason can’t be enough of an accomplishment for the franchise that long defined ineptitude. Perhaps the worst thing about the Bengals 19-13 loss to Houston is that it ended up being the “best” game played all weekend. -So that’s why Christian Ponder starts. I was one of those people who figured the news of Christian Ponder being made inactive against Green Bay was good news for the Vikings. The dude is lucky to complete any throw over 15 yards downfield, and perhaps Joe Webb would give Minnesota’s offense an element that the Packers defense had not prepared for. It turns out that element is **********. Webb completed 11 of 30 passes, threw an interception that could have been caught by no one by Packers corner Sam Shields, and basically looked like every Bears quarterback from 1996-2004. I will never question Christian Ponder again. Sam Steele is on to something. -Bruce Arians should be the hottest coordinator sought by NFL teams The Colts went 9-3 without head coach Chuck Pagano this season as Bruce Arians took the helm in an interim role. On Sunday, Arians missed Indy’s game at Baltimore as he was hospitalized due to sickness. The Colts lost. Pagano’s story is an inspirational one, but the work Arians did in his absence cannot be ignored. -Russell Wilson is the Rookie of the Year OK, so you really can’t go wrong when picking a Rookie of the Year in the NFL this season. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III both did phenomenal things in turning their teams around, and Alfred Morris would be the winner in virtually any other year. But Russell Wilson is the last man standing, and there’s a reason for that. The guy has tremendous poise, and is proving that a midget can play quarterback in the NFL. Wilson may end up opening the doors for other undersized quarterbacks in the future — here’s looking at you, Johnny Football — and can change the way the position is assessed in the future. The significance of his breakthrough should be rewarded. -When your QB is hurt, nobody wins. Mike Shanahan is getting all the media flak today for not pulling an obviously injured RG3 from the game as the Redskins saw a 14-0 lead slip away as they were unable to cross the 50 once he was rendered useless. But the trouble with the NFL’s culture is that no matter what, somebody was getting hammered for this.  If Griffin pulls himself from the game, he is branded a wuss like Jay Cutler. If Shanahan pulls Griffin like he should have — but to the protestations of Griffin — he is upsetting the franchise player even if the move is for the better of the team. Given those scenarios, it is no surprise that we got what actually happened — Griffin, the football-playing son of a military man, decides to tough it out because anything else would be letting his team down in his own mind. Shanahan acquiesces, because who the hell pulls their franchise quarterback when the guy says he can go… and ends up getting hammered like he was Petain sending his men into suicidal machine gun fire at Verdun. Moral: If your star quarterback gets hurt, you’ve got virtually no chance of winning on or off the field.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Logan Morrison curses out umpire CB Bucknor mid at-bat

Raptors jab Bucks on Twitter after Game 4 victory

Report: NBA GMs not hesitant to draft Lonzo Ball due to father LaVar

DeShone Kizer changes course, stands by Tom Brady-Cam Newton quote

Nick Saban doesn't offer much praise of team for 'adequate' spring game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dennis Schroder admits Mike Budenholzer wants him to avoid trash talk

WATCH: Miguel Sano throws punch as benches clear in Twins-Tigers game

Glen Coffee making NFL comeback after four years in Army, seven years away from game

Fan wears Clemson championship gear to Alabama spring game

NBA reportedly investigating incident involving Patrick Beverley, Thunder fan

Blake Griffin out for the season with toe injury; how screwed are the Clippers?

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

25 times Mother Nature disrupted sports

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

Box Score 4/20: When Westbrook isn't enough

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

White House championship visits over the years

Biggest needs in the draft for every NFL team

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: David Fizdale calls B.S.

Kris Bryant can become the next Derek Jeter — and more

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

NHL youth movement: How the 2016-17 rookie class fared

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker