The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 18-16 in an absolute bloodbath on Wild Card weekend. What for three quarters was a dull and frankly pretty forgettable playoff game will be remembered for a long time because of what happened in the fourth quarter. In the meantime, the Steelers-Bengals rivalry looks to have eclipsed Steelers-Ravens when it comes to straight out hatred.
In the run up to Saturday’s playoff rubber match between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, two key injuries that will bear watching. First is the ankle injury suffered last Sunday by Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams. Second is the broken thumb that cost Bengals starting quarterback Andy Dalton the last month of the season. Either one could very well tip the balance between these two closely matched teams.
No, you haven’t been sipping too much spiked eggnog, it’s Thursday. I’ve traditionally posted Know Thy Enemy on Friday going all the way back to my NicePickCowher days but tomorrow’s a small little holiday some of you may be celebrating with friends/family. While I’d like to think your first stop with your new iPads and smarty phones would be this site, I realize you may have other interests. Besides, posting something titled “Know They Enemy” on Christmas just feels all kinds of wrong.
As you can tell from that long preamble, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this week’s game. The Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Baltimore Ravens as they continue to fight for a berth in the NFL playoffs. If things fall into place – meaning a Steeler victory and a Jets loss to the Patriots – the Black and Gold will find a playoff spot under their tree. There’s also a scenario where they win the AFC North but that’s a bit more remote.
Well, the Cincinnati Bengals certainly seem to be taking their loss well. On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat them in front of their home fans in a game filled with nastiness and cheap shots. To add insult to injury, they lost their quarterback for the rest of the regular season, possibly for the playoffs. This led to a lot of airtime spent pondering if the Steelers might be the most dangerous team in the AFC North.
Evidently, this did not sit well with Adam “Pacman” Jones. Pacman didn’t play on Sunday nursing an injury but the Cincinnati Bengals cornerback went on an expletive laden rant directed at the Pittsburgh Steelers. Large portions of it are indecipherable mumbling but when you can make out what he’s saying, it’s pretty NSFW. The video can be found after the jump.
Sunday’s game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers was one of the most heated games in recent memory. I mentioned in my game recap the level of hatred between the two teams seemed to approach almost Ravens-Steelers levels. Every time you turned around, there was pushing and shoving. Guys weren’t trying to tackle so much as lay a whuppin’ on their opponent.
One particular moment is coming under intense scrutiny. On his weekly radio segment, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger believes Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict tried to hurt him by diving at his knees from behind after he threw a pass. The Steelers took exception to the play when it happened with Burfict claiming he was “pushed into” the QB. After viewing the footage above, Ben now says he doesn’t buy the excuse and thinks “he definitely was diving low and going for my legs.”
Last time the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals met, Cincy put one of ours in the hospital. Yesterday, we may have put their Super Bowl chances in the morgue. Le’Veon Bell ended up on season-ending IR after our first meeting. Now there’s a chance Andy Dalton is about to join him.
Oh and by the way, the Steelers won the game 33-20 to keep their shot at a Wild Card alive.
When the story of the 2015 NFL season is written, there will a number of narratives. The excellence of the Patriots and the sudden emergence of the Panthers. Peyton Manning finally tapping out to Father Time. The huge gape in parity between the league’s elite teams and the ones struggling to get above .500.
However, the overriding story of the 2015 NFL season will be how it’s been marred by major injuries to a host of star players. NFL 2015 – the Season of Crippling Injuries.
Of course, we don’t have to tell fans of the Black and Gold. I’ve been watching the Pittsburgh Steelers since the late 80s and I’ve never seen a year remotely like this. Every year you lose guys but never at the level or rate we’ve lost them this season. It’s to the point every game I expect another shoe to drop.
Thank you Bruce Arians.
Despite the Flying Circus leaving town four years ago, BA continues to do his former team favors. Earlier in the year, he thoughtfully brought his typical “Pile up a ton of yards but settle for field goals” style of offense to Pittsburgh and let Landry Jones beat him with a series of big plays. Last night, he did us another solid by guiding the Cardinals to a last second victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. After starting the season 8-0, the Bungles have suddenly lost two in a row.
Which means the Pittsburgh Steelers are officially back in the hunt for the AFC North.
With all due respect to Charlie Batch and Terry Hanratty, this Roethlisberger guy is the best backup quarterback the Black and Gold have ever had. He might even have a future as a starter.
Ah, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Except in this case, the fun started when someone got hurt. Landry Jones left the game six plays in and Ben Roethlisberger came off the bench to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 30-9 shellacking of the Cleveland Browns. It was the first time Big Ben rode to the rescue since that fabled day back in 2004 when he stepped in for an injured Tommy Maddox and ripped off thirteen straight wins.
Ah, Cleveland. In a weird NFL season where there are a bunch of teams that are really good and a bunch that are really bad while everybody else is aggressively mediocre, it’s nice to have one constant. And that constant being that the Browns suck. As they move into year 16 of their perpetual rebuild, let’s take a look at what’s going on with the Factory of Sadness.
When the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns in the latest chapter of one of the NFL’s most storied rivalries, we still don’t know who’ll be under center. For either team actually. The Browns are choosing between journeyman Josh McCown and woman-beating drunkard Johnny Manziel. Meanwhile, it was assumed Landry Jones would be making his second career start for the Black and Gold but Mike Tomlin left “the door slightly ajar” for Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben practiced yesterday which means that door might still be open.