In the AFC North, you are either the hunter, or you are the prey. When looking at the usual contenders in the division, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens all have one thing in common -- they know how to be nasty when it comes down to crunch time. Often times, this nastiness spills over into the media before and after the game.
As the Steelers and Bengals prepare for their third meeting of the season in the AFC Wild Card game, the two teams which tallied a hefty sum of fines in Week 14 have taken little time being vocal in the media leading up to the game Saturday night.
It might have started on Monday when Steelers safety Will Allen gave his thoughts on the Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati rivalry:
Steelers S Will Allen on Bengals: "They beat us sometimes, we beat them alot."— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) January 4, 2016
He wasn't alone in his commentary, as tackle Marcus Gilbert, who had wished to see the playoffs for Christmas, was asked about Bengals' cornerback Adam Jones' Instagram tirade after the Bengals Week 14 loss to the Steelers:
Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert on Pacman Jones' Instagram video: "I thought it was funny."— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 6, 2016
The Bengals weren't quiet long, as defensive end Carlos Dunlap responded to Gilbert's "Christmas Wish" by telling ESPN.com, "He's been vocal," Dunlap said. "But it is what it is if that's what he wants to do. He wanted us for Christmas, he got it. Now we've got to see what he's going to do."
The thought that this is the end of the verbal jousting between the two teams seems extremely unlikely, especially not after the bad blood runs so deep in this rivalry. You could trace the exact line of existence back to 2005 when the Bengals desecrated the Terrible Towel after a win at Heinz Field, to Carson Palmer's knee injury in the Wild Card round of the 2005 playoffs.
More recent events would include Le'Veon Bell being injured by Reggie Nelson in 2014, and again injured in 2015 by Vontaze Burfict. The latter of these two incidents caused the highly debated Vince Williams tweet and the pre-game scuffle in Week 14.
Even if these two organizations don't speak up anymore leading up to Saturday, don't let that fool you in terms of the disdain each has for the other.