Ref Falls for Awful Vontaze Burfict Flop, Flags Steve Smith

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

The NFL, unlike the NBA, does not penalize flopping.

But after the actions of Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on Sunday, the league might have to start.

Surprise: Burfict and similarly hot-headed (but decidedly less dirty) wideout Steve Smith of the Baltimore Ravens got into something of a spat during their Week 12 matchup. When a rising Smith placed his helmet on the chest of the Bengals linebacker, Burfict reacted like he took a blow from Thor's very own Mjölnir to the midsection.

The officials on hand, unfamiliar with the practice rampant in the NBA and soccer, bought it and penalized Smith 15 yards for unnecessary roughness.

Thankfully, the crimes against acting and good officiating didn't pay: On fourth-and-30, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker connected on an important 52-yard field goal anyway.

Tucker blasted three more field goals of 57, 54, and 36 yards to lead Baltimore to a 19-14 victory.

The Ravens are 6-5 and tied atop the AFC North with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals are 3-7-1.