There is always plenty of bad blood between the Bengals and Steelers, and it reached a boiling point near the end of the first half of Sunday’s contest between the two teams.
With the Bengals leading 24-3, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow threw an interception to Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, giving the Steelers the ball back at their own 21-yard line with 50 seconds remaining. During the return, Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt tried to block Burrow from heading over to the play, and wrestling him to the ground.
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Of note, Burrow was no where near the play. He threw the ball around the Steelers’ 41-yard line, and Fitzpatrick caught it at the 3. Fitzpatrick returned the ball up 18 yards on the right side before he was tackled by wide receiver Tyler Boyd.
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For those who weren’t happy about Watt’s play, the Bengals were able to get one back right away. On the next play, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tried to find wide receiver James Washington out to the left, but Bengals cornerback — and former Steeler — Mike Hilton stepped up at the 24 and took the ball to the house for a touchdown.
The next drive, Roethlisberger threw an incompletion and was sacked to end the first half, and send his team to the locker rooms trailing Cincinnati 31-3.
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Pittsburgh has historically dominated the Bengals-Steelers rivalry, leading the series all time 67-37. However, this has been Cincinnati’s year. The Bengals beat the Steelers 24-10 in Week 3, and were cruising at halftime on Sunday, outgaining Pittsburgh 261-104 in total yardage, including 125 to 21 in rushing yards.