Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Absence of of 'Foul Play' Would Help

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Absence of of 'Foul Play' Would Help

Article excerpt

The Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals played in October at Heinz Field, and something unusual happened. There was not one personal foul penalty in the game.

Not that Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict didn't try to stir things up. He grazed Steelers fullback Roosevelt Nix in the head after attempting to kick him. The officials missed it, but the league office did not. Burfict was fined $12,154.

Still, that was the fine total for both teams in October, which is atypical for two teams that once combined for more than $100,000 in fines for one game.

The Steelers and Bengals play their second game of the season Monday night in Cincinnati, and the Steelers wouldn't mind another game without the shenanigans that defined this game in previous seasons.

"Football is football," right guard David DeCastro said. "You go in just trying to win a football game. If things happen, they happen. It's a tough game as it is. You just never know. No one on this team is trying to go out there and start something. We're just trying to win a football game. This isn't MMA [Mixed Martial Arts]. That's how we look at it. We're just trying to win games."

DeCastro is one of many Steelers players who has had beef with Burfict over the years. DeCastro accused Burfict of spitting on him in the 2016 AFC wild-card game in Cincinnati.

No matter when or where the game is played, there always seems to be some kind of drama involving the league's leading antagonist and someone on the Steelers.

"Every time it's a Steelers-Bengals game, it's always something," said Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd, a Clairton High School and Pitt product. "It's a late hit or something that's dirty. I'm not saying guys are out there intentionally doing that on either side. It just gets real intense because of the times we've played and I guess the pride each team has in beating each other."

The rematch Monday night figures to be just as intense. There has been more conflict between the two teams off the field on social media in the past month than when they were on the field Oct. 22.

Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell accused Bengals running back Joe Mixon of trying to copy his style the next week when Mixon wore the same accessories Bell does in a game against the Colts. …

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