NFL

Steelers shut down Jeremy Hill after Bengals running back disrespects Terrible Towel

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 18: Jeremy Hill #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates a touchdown by balling up a "Terrible Towel" during the second quarter of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 18: Jeremy Hill #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates a touchdown by balling up a "Terrible Towel" during the second quarter of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

If Jeremy Hill's goal was to get under the Pittsburgh Steelers' skin when he pretended to rip a Terrible Towel after celebrating a touchdown Sunday, mission accomplished.

The touchdown had given the Bengals a 14-point lead -- a cushion they promptly gave up after the gesture in the Steelers' 24-20 comeback victory.

Steelers players were all too willing to point to that moment as the turning point in the game.

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"Anybody that's grabbed it has had something unfortunate happen," Steelers offensive guard Ramon Foster said, via ESPN. "I hate to say the towel is cursed when you disrespect it, but you can't do that. That's too early in the game to be doing that type of stuff. He's a pro. I'm sure his coaches would take to him."

The Steelers seemed to make it a point to slow Hill after his disrespective move. He was held to minus-1 yard on six attempts after the gesture.

"[Hill] came back in the second half; I guess he didn't have any talk," linebacker Ryan Shazier said. "He thought he was going to come back and run us like he had been doing in the first half -- we understand we had to stand up. Whenever he came our way, we just had to shut him down."