After a Dec. 13 matchup with pregame scuffles, helmet-to-helmet hits and fists thrown well after plays ended, the Bengals and Steelers got hit with nearly $140,000 in fines.
This time, in Saturday's AFC wild-card matchup in Cincinnati, Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats assumes the officiating crew led by John Parry will "definitely be watching" players more closely.
"I hope everybody keeps more money in their pockets this week," Moats said.
The problems started during the Bengals' 16-10 win in Pittsburgh on Nov. 1, when Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict appeared to celebrate his tackle of Le'Veon Bell as the Steelers star running back writhed in pain with a torn MCL. Steelers linebacker Vince Williams made threats to Burfict on social media after the game, and the Bengals didn't like safety Mike Mitchell's hit on receiver Marvin Jones.
Burfict and Williams were at the center of the scuffle before the Steelers' 33-20 win on Dec. 13, though no punches were thrown. During that game, Burfict issued a low helmet hit on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, resulting in a hefty fine. Roethlisberger later said the hit was inappropriate.
That same day, Bengals cornerback Pacman Jones issued a not-safe-for-work message for the Steelers on Instagram, prompting Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert to tweet: "All I want for Christmas is the bengals."
After all that, Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said the issues between both teams are "in the past now."
"They kind of got it out of their system there in the last game," Guenther said.
When speaking from the locker room Wednesday, Gilbert said both teams said some things while heated, but the respect is mutual. In fact, Gilbert said the Steelers-Bengals rivalry has never been "this deep," almost approaching Steelers-Ravens status.
"We're trying to get this win just like they are," Gilbert said.
On Monday, Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap was asked about the tweets by Gilbert, his longtime friend, and he simply replied: "To each his own."
Pushed to comment further on his former Florida teammate, Dunlap wouldn't budge.
"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."
ESPN reporter Coley Harvey contributed to this report.