The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals have a rather unique history. It dates back to 2005 when Kimo Von Oelhoffen rolled into Carson Palmer’s knee, tearing his ACL, and was re-energized in the 2015 AFC Wild Card game when Vontaze Burfict single-handedly injured the Steelers’ ‘Big Three’, Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger.
While most of the fans will be talking about the impact Burfict will have on the game Sunday, however, there’s so much more to this game than what No. 55 or any member of the Bengals might do that’s deemed dirty or out of line.
The Steelers are playing for their playoff lives, they’re marching toward their second AFC North crown in three years and are hoping to claim at least one home game in the AFC Playoffs.
Yeah, I’d say that trumps the nonsense Burfict has demonstrated in the past.
The Bengals have a lot to play for, despite seeing their postseason hopes all but flat-lined. Marvin Lewis is coaching for his job, and individual players on the roster could be playing for their jobs as well, or auditioning for free agency starting in March.
Either way, it trumps Burfict and his antics.
I hope the Week 15 game goes as smoothly as the Week 2 meeting at Heinz Field. I don’t want to see Le’Veon Bell writhing on the ground in pain any more than I want to see Geno Atkins grabbing his knee after someone lands on it in a pileup.
Injuries are a part of the game, but they shouldn’t be the intent. But that’s the place where the Steelers vs. Bengals rivalry has descended, thanks in large part to Mr. Burfict. But fans of the Black and Gold should know there’s more about this matchup than No. 55. I talk about this in more detail in the latest podcast you’ll find in the player above. Give it a listen.