"The difference between this game and the Cincinnati game is these two teams—us and Baltimore—there's always a respect involved in it," Roethlisberger said Wednesday, per ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley. "You're going to get hit really hard or you're going to hit somebody really hard, but you're going to help them up and say, 'Man, nice job.'"
Regarding the Bengals, Roethlisberger said, "It feels like almost, just, you're out there to hit people."
Roethlisberger's comments come after Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati 23-20 on Monday night in a game that made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Vontaze Burfict was stretchered off following a blindside block by JuJu Smith-Schuster. Bengals running back Joe Mixon suffered a concussion following a helmet-to-helmet hit. George Iloka was suspended one game for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Antonio Brown. The NFL has since rescinded the suspension, issuing a fine to Iloka instead, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
After watching the game, Fox Sports officiating expert Mike Pereira argued the NFL should look at its rules regarding penalties for helmet-to-helmet hits:
Mike Pereira @MikePereira
I think its time to follow the lead of college and targeting. Eject players for hits to the head area. Make it automatic but reviewable. Force teams to play a man down with carry overs to the next game if in the second half. College is doing more to send the message than the NFL. https://t.co/inDl6DJyPK
Were the NFL to change to its punishment for helmet-to-helmet hits, it wouldn't be the first time the league reacted to something that happened when the Bengals and Steelers met.
The Cincinnati Enquirer's Dave Clark highlighted three rules that were implemented as a result of injuries suffered during a Cincinnati-Pittsburgh game. The NFL also issued a clarification of league guidelines about hits with the crown of the helmet after Giovani Bernard was concussed following a tackle by Ryan Shazier in the 2016 AFC Wild Card Round.