The rivalry between the Bengals and Steelers, who are AFC North divisional foes, has become one of the more heated rivalries in all of the NFL in recent seasons. Both teams are perennially fighting for a playoff berth in the AFC, which breeds competitive games, but the physical styles of both teams also creates some extra contempt in their games.
No player has been at the center of more chippy play and incidents in the rivalry in recent years than Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. The Arizona State product has long toed the line between hard-nosed, physical football and downright dirty play.
Burfict has been fined nearly $1 million in his career, most recently including a three-game suspension for a preseason hit against the Chiefs. His intensity on the field, which makes him as good a linebacker as he is, often spills over to after plays are made and can lead him to dirty play. He was fined $25,000 once for twisting players’ ankles after tackles, and on Sunday, he appeared to kick a member of the Steelers in the head while laying on the ground.