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Do Bengals have reason to gripe about Steelers' Antonio Brown's winning TD?

| Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, 8:25 a.m.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs for a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 in Cincinnati. The Steelers defeated the Bengals 28-21. (Albert Cesare/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs for a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 in Cincinnati. The Steelers defeated the Bengals 28-21. (Albert Cesare/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

Some people in Cincinnati are upset about the officiating during Sunday's 28-21 win by the Steelers in Paul Brown Stadium.

To a certain extent, they have a case.

Before the folks in Bengals stripes get too mouthy, keep in mind a 50-50 call went their way on James Conner being down at the 1-yard line in the third quarter. And that loomed large as the Steelers couldn't punch in a touchdown.

Plus, Dre Kirkpatrick is insane if he thinks he didn't hold Antonio Brown on the final Steelers scoring drive. I know he's insane when he says the Bengals are better than the Steelers and have been better than them over the years, especially when you consider that they have failed on home turf against the Black and Gold at Paul Brown Stadium every year since 2013.

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Where the Bengals have a case is on the game-winning touchdown pass to Brown. That sure looked like a pick by Justin Hunter to spring Brown.

Officiating director Al Riveron raises a point in his attempt to defend the officials.

Let's be clear, if there is a way to defend the officials at all, Riveron will create it. So maybe he is morphing his own view of "initiating the contact." I suppose you can say, it can't be a pick play by Hunter if Tony McRae was trying to make contact himself.

But the easy response from Cincinnati is, McRae had to initiate contact to get through the pick Hunter was setting in the first place.

If we are being honest with ourselves in Pittsburgh, we'd be screaming bloody murder about that being a pick if the shoe was on the other foot. However, given the Conner play and the officials missing Burfict's elbow to the head of Brown, I have no sympathy for the Bengals.

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