Carlos Dunlap: Steelers player 'wanted us for Christmas, he got it'
After the Steelers beat the Bengals in Week 14 -- in a game that was marred by trash talking and personal fouls -- Pittsburgh right tackle Marcus Gilbert had one simple request for Santa.
"All I want for Christmas is the Bengals," he tweeted. "Would love to see them in the playoffs where they choke. The talking is done between the lines."
Gilbert has since deleted that tweet but not before Santa was able to make a note. On Saturday, the Steelers and Bengals meet in a wild-card matchup with implications for both teams. Pittsburgh hasn't won a playoff game since 2010 while Cincinnati last did it in 1990.
Gilbert's comments were in response to the feeling among the Steelers that Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict intentionally tried to injure Le'Veon Bell, who suffered a season-ending knee injury when the two teams met in Week 9. That led to more Twitter gum-flapping and some pregame shoving a month later.
"It's Bengals week!" - Steelers legend Bill Cowher watching apparent pregame scuffle between CIN and PIT pic.twitter.com/LDkd1iwSW8— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 13, 2015
On Tuesday, Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap, who happens to be good friends with Gilbert, was reminded of Gilbert's Christmas wish.
"To each his own," Dunlap said, via ESPN.com, though after some prodding, he had a few more thoughts.
He's been vocal," Dunlap said. "But it is what it is if that’s what he wants to do. He wanted us for Christmas, he got it. Now we've got to see what he’s going to do."
Gilbert is having his best NFL season, having allowed just one sack all year. Meanwhlle, Dunlap, who lines up on the left side -- and opposite Gilbert -- has 13.5 sacks this season, a career high. And the ability to protect -- or get after -- Ben Roethlisberger will go a long way in determining the outcome.
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