What would have normally been a routine play was anything but — JuJu’s pregame logo dancing at midfield was something Bell had already talked about earlier in the week.
Bell’s massive hit that went viral was just him backing up the talk.
Not that Bell is one to brag off the field about such things, though he did answer a question about it with a chuckle before saying the following, according to The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr.:
“I seen 19. I’m not a boastful guy, man. I just go out there and let my play do the talking. It just happened that it comes to that. I’m just playing football, man. Just going out there and trying to make a play.”
Others weren’t as shy about the impact. Here’s what linebacker Josh Bynes said, per Dehner: “Oh, man, it just gave us so much momentum, so much energy.”
Want an easy translation? This is exactly what the Bengals envisioned when they signed Bell to be a leader of the defense and locker room in general.
It has been a long, long time since the Bengals matched the Steelers in physicality and punched back, if not first. And it’s no surprise Bell’s big, meaningful play seemed to start an unstoppable bit of momentum en route to a win.