This will be the third meeting this season between these bitter divisional rivals. This rivalry goes pretty deep and was rekindled in 2005 when several Bengals players disrespected the terrible towel after they defeated the Steelers at home.
This season the tension began on November 1st when Vontaze Burfict tackled Le'Veon Bell. The hit was low and it ended up costing Bell the rest of the season as he suffered a torn MCL from the collision. Burfict appeared to celebrate after the injury which did not sit well with the Steelers.
The Bengals went on to win that game 16-10. The only star to come away with a decent performance was AJ Green as he gained 118 yards and a touchdown while Antonio Brown was held a mere 47 yards but also had a touchdown. Both Andy Dalton and Ben Roethlisberger threw multiple interceptions and neither team had a rushing touchdown.
The rematch on December 13th only brought more bad blood as Andy Dalton exited the game early with thumb injury that has kept him out of action. There was a pregame fight that started with Vontaze Burfict and Vince Williams that exploded into a brawl involving multiple players from each team; this set the tone for the physical contest. The game resulted in $140,000 in fines. In that game Roethlisberger did not have a touchdown and recorded an interception while backup quarterback A.J.
McCarron threw 2 touchdowns while throwing 2 interceptions. A.J. Green had another huge game gaining 132 yards and a touchdown. The X factor in the game came from DeAngelo Williams who rushed for 2 touchdowns and gained 76 yards. With Williams missing from this playoff matchup the majority of carries should go to Fitzgerald Toussaint if Williams is still unable to play. If Toussaint plays well the Steelers should be on their way to another playoff win.