TJ Watt, Steelers ‘Welcome’ Joe Burrow to AFC North in ‘Appropriate Way’

Joe Burrow vs Steelers

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals looks to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on November 15, 2020.

Coming into Sunday’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, rookie quarterbacks were 4-24 against the Steelers since 2004. Now they are 4-25, thanks to Pittsburgh’s 36-10 drubbing of the Bengals at Heinz Field, dropping last-place Cincinnati to 2-6-1.

The Steelers (9-0) made life miserable for quarterback Joe Burrow, the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Burrow finished the day 21 of 40 for 213 yards with one touchdown. But he also got roughed up by a Steelers pass rush that produced four sacks—two by outside linebacker T.J. Watt, plus another by fellow OLB Bud Dupree and yet another by ILB Robert Spillane.

After the game, a question by Jenna Harner of WPXI Sports prompted Watt to say that today’s game was a message directed towards Cincinnati’s rookie quarterback, who was facing Pittsburgh for the first time but will no doubt face the Steelers many more times in the years to come.

“I think it’s very important to welcome quarterbacks in the AFC North in the appropriate way…. We know Joe Burrow is their franchise quarterback, and we’re just trying to let him know what he can expect when he comes to Pittsburgh,” he said.

It was a message echoed by Steelers cornerback Joe Haden, who added, “We wanted to set the tone for him…. We didn’t want him to think playing Pittsburgh, he could throw it around.”

Steelers Streaks Extended

By virtue of beating Burrow, the Steelers have now won 14 consecutive games against quarterbacks drafted No. 1 overall.

Pittsburgh also extended its winning streak against the Bengals to ten consecutive games.

Meanwhile, Watt’s first sack of the day, in the second quarter, allowed Pittsburgh to continue its streak of recording at least one sack to 66 consecutive games. If Watt & Co. can keep it up, the Steelers can tie the NFL record of 69 games (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1999-2003) against Washington on December 6th. The Steelers would be able to break the record on December 13th at Buffalo.

As for individual accomplishments, rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool scored his eighth and ninth touchdowns of the season against the Bengals. Nine TDs in nine games is the most for a rookie wide receiver since 1970. (Claypool caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the third quarter and also had a five-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter.)

Of course, Roethlisberger also remains undefeated against Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks this season, now 3-0 against Burrow, Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns) and Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens), with one win against each.

Roethlisberger was 27 of 46 for 333 yards and four touchdowns against Cincinnati.

Pittsburgh’s Next Opponent

Next weekend the Steelers will attempt to get to 10-0 at Jacksonville (1-8). On Sunday the Jaguars lost to the 7-2 Green Bay Packers, 24-20, at Lambeau Field.

After the trip to Jacksonville, the Steelers will play a Thanksgiving night game at Heinz Field vs. the Ravens.

The Bengals will get a chance to even the season series against the Steelers when Pittsburgh visits Cincinnati for a Monday Night Football game on December 21st.

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Also Read:
Current, Former Steelers Players React to Bengals’ ‘Steelers Week’ Tweet
Mike Tomlin: Steelers ‘Do Not Miss’ One Former Bengals Player

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