The NFL wants referee Pete Morelli and the other officials on his crew to have “heightened awareness” of the history between the Bengals and Steelers heading into this Sunday’s game so that things don’t spiral out of control with the ugliness of the last couple of matchups between the teams.
Based on Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams‘ take on the game, heightened awareness seems like the least the officiating crew should have on their minds when the two teams come together. Williams said it is going to be a “two-chinstrap game” between two teams that hate each other.
“Everybody knows the professional hatred we have for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Bengals have with us,” Williams said, via ESPN.com. “Everybody’s heard the Twitter fight and things of that nature that we’ve had in the offseason. Guess what? This Sunday, that comes to a head, and the cameras will be watching. It will be our will versus their will, and we will see who breaks first.”
That all seems a bit dramatic, but then you remember the way things played out in both the regular season and playoffs last season. It seems less like a pro wrestling promo and more like a reasonable preview for how things will go at Heinz Field.