CINCINNATI — For whatever reason, I didn't believe this would be the 'typical' game between the Steelers and Bengals. Maybe it was Vontaze Burfict sitting out the last meeting because of a suspension. Maybe it was Adam Jones missing the same game with an injury. Whatever it was, it felt like the Steelers and Bengals were past the playoff debacle of 2016.
Last night was one of the ugliest football games I've ever seen. Two players, two of the most talented linebackers in the entire league — Ryan Shazier and Burfict — were forced to leave the game on stretchers. Shazier was taken to the hospital after suffering a spinal cord concussion.
JuJu Smith-Schuster channeled Hines Ward and cracked back on Burfict before taunting the injured linebacker as he straddled him.
For whatever reason, I thought this game would be past the past and be about a pair of football teams. I was wrong.