Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers

Bengals player smack-talking T.J. Watt has no room to talk

Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman La’el Collins had plenty to say about T.J. Watt after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers. Was he right to do so?

T.J. Watt is among the best pass-rushers in all of football. Heck, he’s likely the best, as he won Defensive Player of the Year in 2021-22 for a reason.

Yet, Watt returned to the starting lineup just two weeks ago after suffering a pectoral injury. It’s been a tough year for the Steelers as a whole, and the loss of Watt for a significant period of time has much to do with that. While Watt was able to avoid surgery, he’s clearly playing through some pain.

A healthy Watt dominated the Bengals offensive line, and Collins, in Week 1. It was Pittsburgh’s high point of the season so far, and Watt was at the center of it all. All of these factors didn’t stop Collins from talking smack after performing admirably against the Steelers front on Sunday.

“T.J. knew he had to line up against me. So, s***, you know, at the end of the day, he was crying to the refs. So, I’ll see him again next year,” Collins bragged.

Bengals: La’el Collins calls out Steelers star T.J. Watt

Cincinnati won the game, so La’el Collins can theoretically say whatever he wants without it being questioned. The advanced stats suggest that Watt was furthest away from Burrow out of all Pittsburgh’s pass-rushers on just about every dropback.

That’s a testament to Collins, who played well, but also received some help. Watt is the frequent target of double teams, as was the case for much of Sunday’s game, even though he’s playing at around 75 percent.

There are plays in every game which can be pointed to as examples of poor offensive line play. Collins is a former Pro Bowler with the Dallas Cowboys, so he’s certainly capable of elite performance.

For now, Watt will just have to stew on those words until next season.

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