When Bengals safety Vonn Bell spoke to reporters late last week, the topic of Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s habit of dancing on opposing team’s logos came up.
Bills safety Jordan Poyer said after a Week 14 win over the Steelers that Smith-Schuster gave them some “extra fire” and Bell sounded like he felt the same way. He called it “disrespectful” and that the Bengals would have to “go out there between the lines and hit him and let him know where he stands.”
That’s exactly what happened. Bell rocked Smith-Schuster after a catch late in the first quarter to force a fumble that the Bengals recovered to set up a Giovani Bernard touchdown. Linebacker Josh Bynes said the hit gave the Bengals “so much momentum, so much energy” on their way to a 27-17 win.
“I seen 19,” Bell said, via Paul Dehner of TheAthletic.com. “I’m not a boastful guy, man. I just go out there and let my play do the talking. It just happened that it comes to that. I’m just playing football, man. Just going out there and trying to make a play.”
The Bengals had lost 11 straight games to the Steelers heading into Monday night’s game. Bell’s hit wasn’t the only thing that turned the tide, but it set a tone that the rest of the Bengals picked up on and ran with for a win.