The Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals rivalry is alive in well.
The Steelers beat the Bengals Sunday, 28-21. And the two sides had plenty to say to each other during the game, and about each other afterward.
“They were all making threats at me. Dropping f-bombs. Everything. (Vontaze) Burfict was out there lying saying I spit on him, which I didn’t,” said Pittsburgh wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. “Most physical game I’ve been in.”
Smith-Schuster, in his second season in the NFL, said the Cincinnati defense was “coming after all of us.”
That isn’t unusual in this AFC North matchup.
Burfict knocked out Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown with a hit to the head in an AFC Wild Card game in 2016; Burfict was suspended the first three games of the following season for the hit.
Last season, in the Steelers’ visit to Cincinnati for a December primetime game, Smith-Schuster delivered a brutal hit to Burfict, then stood over him gloating. Smith-Schuster was suspended one game by the NFL.
On Sunday, Burfict made another play on Brown that didn’t draw a penalty but could be reviewed by the NFL. After Brown made a catch and was being tackled, Burfict entered the play late and appeared to hit Brown’s head with his shoulder. He also hit his own teammate, Jessie Bates, on the play.
The two teams meet again in Pittsburgh on the last day of the season, Dec. 30, when both could have a lot on the line.
Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick will be ready.
“We’re better than them,” he said after the game.
—Field Level Media