History of The Steelers vs Bengals Rivalry
The Steelers vs Bengals Rivalry that’s seen brutal hits, knockdowns, rule changes as a result of the player action and even fights on the field over the past 46 years since they first faced each other as division rivals in 1970. The only year they didn’t play each was in 1982 when there was a player’s strike. The teams currently compete in the AFC North division and face their rivals twice a year.
The rivalry reached the melting point in the 2005 wild card playoff when Kimo von Oelhoffen, a Steeler’s player, injured Carson Palmer, the Cincinnati quarterback. His resulting knee injury kept Palmer out of the game and required delicate repair surgery. The Steelers won the game by 31-17. Although Palmer did not believe the injury was in any way intentional it was the fans that became embittered, fanning the flames of the ongoing Steelers vs Bengals Rivalry.
Between 2010 and 2012, the Steelers won five straight games until defeated by the Bengals on December 23, 2012, at Heinz Field. The Bengals managed to earn a playoff spot the third in four seasons, at the same time eliminating the Steelers from playoff contention.
The bitter rivalry continued and in the 2015 wild card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium. Vontaze Burfict flagged for a rough tackle to Antonio Brown’s head during an incomplete pass. Burfict was then suspended for the first three games of 2016. Right after this incident Bengal’s player Adam Jones became embroiled in an altercation with Joey Porter, Steeler’s OLB coach, and was flagged for a personal foul. Porter was fined $10 000.
As a result of incidents in the Bengal-Steeler’s games changes to NFL new rules. After the 2005 Palmer incident, the new rule was to prohibit forcibly hitting a player in the knee area or below. In 2009 Steeler’s player Hines Ward broke the jaw of a Bengal’s player, Keith Rivers, in a blindside block. Blindside blocking is now illegal if the helmet, shoulder or forearm of the blocker contacts the head or neck of a player. Defensive players can’t use the crown of their helmet outside of the tackle box, irrespective of the angle they take. This came after Giovani Bernard, the Bengals running back gone unconscious after Steeler’s linebacker Ryan Shazier hit him. This prompted an on-field ruckus between Bernard’s fellow running back Jeremy Hill and Steeler’s defenders.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have won 60 games and the Cincinnati Bengals have won 35. The teams have faced each other on 95 occasions (including 2 postseason games). So who is going to win the clash this year and will the new NFL rules make sure there are no injuries?
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