By Patrick Gelesh
Vontaze Burfict and the Pittsburgh Steelers have a long dramatic past. From late hits on quarterbacks to illegal hits to fines issued by the NFL. Both teams and the league have a long memory and you can bet, with this game in Cincinnati, the referees will be monitoring Burficts behavior closely. JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was fined for a block last season on Burfict has already said he expects to be a target for the Bengals defense throughout Sunday’s game.
The history between teams is long, the feelings are ugly, and the Steelers are the most penalized team in the NFL. In five weeks they have 59 penalties accounting for 459 yards, and those are just the ones opposing teams accepted. There’s going to be some clashes, some cheap shots and Burfict will more than likely be at the center of the drama. That’s who he was as a college player, that’s who he’s been as a Bengal. But the Steelers need to limit penalties, especially ones involving Burfict from piling up. He can’t get in the offense’s collective head and keep them from executing. Or even worse, cause a player to be suspended because of their on-field...