Tensions ran high between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday during their season-opening. The emotions could best be summed up to one epic photo, which was captured during the Week 1 clash. In the now-viral image, Ja’Marr Chase can be seen flipping the birds to Minkah Fitzpatrick, as the Bengals star wide receiver brazenly held up both middle fingers in the direction of the Steelers’ safety. Having had a few days to cool down, Chase reacted to the photo, suggesting he thinks it’s “a cool picture,” per Paul Dehner Jr.
— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 14, 2022
The image perfectly paints the rivalry between the Steelers and the Bengals. Neither Chase nor Fitzpatrick have even been with their respective teams that long, yet they’re both fully enveloped by the AFC North rivalry.
At the end of the day, Fitzpatrick gave the Steelers the last laugh in the battle after he blocked the game-winning extra point from Evan McPherson, forcing overtime. The Steelers would eventually win after a bonkers overtime period. We’re sure Chase felt similarly after the loss, wanting to find Fitzpatrick and stick both middle fingers right in his face after the safety’s game-changing blocked kick.
Chase caught 10 passes on 16 targets in the Week 1 loss, as Joe Burrow was struggling with accuracy all night. He threw four interceptions and fumbled the ball once, in what was nothing short of a disastrous outing for the quarterback. Chase racked up 129 yards and 1 touchdown in the game.
Despite his monster performance and willingness to get in the face of Steelers’ defenders, it was Fitzpatrick and Pittsburgh who were celebrating after the game.
While Ja’Marr Chase described it as being a “cool” photo, it would have been way more epic if the Bengals had pulled off the win.