In early November, Steelers linebacker Vince Williams sent a tweet that many Bengals players construed as a death threat against Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Williams eventually deleted the tweet and issued a statement that wasn't quite an apology, but he admitted "I shouldn't have taken these feelings to Twitter but I did." Williams was seemingly upset, as many of his teammates were, because they believed Burfict celebrated after laying a hit on Le'Veon Bell that ended the running back's season.
More than a month between meetings, tensions apparently didn't cool off. Bengals cornerback Adam 'Pacman' Jones had harsh words for the Steelers linebacker before Sunday's game:
"I'm sitting here looking at the thing on ESPN. I guess Pittsburgh got all gangsters now. Mike Tomlin needs to tell his team to shut the f*** up and play football 'cuz ain't nothing gonna happen to 5-5 on the field or off the field. Dig that. Y'all wanna go report so report that, bitches."
"Five-five" seemingly refers to Burfict. Jones was upset with the coverage he saw on ESPN.
Fortunately, Sunday's game -- which the Steelers won 33-20 -- was relatively civil after some pregame scrapping. Both teams have vital games coming up. The Steelers are currently the first AFC team outside of the Wild Card picture. The Bengals are fighting for a first round bye against the three-loss Denver Broncos and two-loss New England Patriots.