The Cincinnati Bengals finally got their first win of the season against the Browns, and it wasn’t nearly as close as last week's Madden episode predicted. The win was the big blow away type win that the Bengals needed to get their confidence back. Hopefully, it was a sign of things to come, and we will see if Madden thinks they will continue their momentum. The Buffalo Bills defense has been one of the best this season, but they look to be missing some players for this weekends game, and their offense has been struggling this season.
To start the game, the Bills receive the ball and get a short return. They get a quick first down, but then the Bengals defense clamps down and after dropping an interception the Bills are forced to punt on fourth down. The punt rolls into the end zone and the Bengals start with the ball on the 20.
On the first play of the drive, Andy Dalton hit A.J. Green for a massive gain nearly getting into the red zone. After that Mixon gets a big gain, and the Bengals are in the red zone. Then Mixon gets another run to inside the 10-yard line with a nice juke. The Bengals bring in Gio to finish off the drive, and he runs in a touchdown on a toss. The Bengals make the extra point to take the lead 7-0.
The Bengals kick off the ball to the Bills, and the Bills have a return just to the 20 yard line. The Bills start off with a big gain to LeSean McCoy after he jukes out Nick Vigil at the second level. Zay Jones has a nice long catch down the sideline. The Bills keep the heavy ground game going into the 10-yard line and the Bengals defensive line is not getting much push. Tyrod Taylor hits Andre Holmes for the five-yard touchdown on the slant. The Bills' try for the extra point gets blocked, then it's returned all the way across the field by Shawn Williams for two points. The Bengals maintain the lead with a 9-6 score.
The Bengals receive the ball and get off to an immediately bad start with a near immediate sack of Dalton on first down. The Bengals do a dump off to Joe Mixon on second down, and that doesn’t get much, and the Bengals try a draw to Bernard on third and long, and it doesn’t get much. The Bengals end up punting, and it goes very poorly. The punt is blocked, and the Bills take it into the end zone for a touchdown. The Bills make the extra point and take a 13-9 lead.
The Bills kickoff to the Bengals and the Bengals offensive woes continue. The Bengals run on first and second down and don’t get much leaving them with a long third down. The Bengals are unable to convert and end up having to punt.
The Bills get the ball and start another one of their long clock eating drives. With under two minutes left, the Bills moved into field goal range and looked as if they were sure to score a touchdown. However, on third down despite being held Geno Atkins is finally able to get some pressure and bring down Taylor. The Bills are forced to take a field goal and make it to make the score 9-16. The Bengals receive the ball and aren’t able to do anything with the remaining time ending the half.
The Bengals receive the ball to start the half, and the offense gets off to a bad start with an immediate three and out, that happens also with the Bills and the Bengals receive the ball again. The Bengals start moving the ball, but Mixon fumbles the ball and the Bills scoop it up.
The Bills very quickly end up scoring a field goal after the Bengals defense locks down in field goal range. The field goals give the Bills a 10-point lead, making the score 19-9.
The Bengals receive the ball after the Bills’ field goal, and they start a nice long drive to try and bring the game within one possession. The Bengals drive starts off well, however, it ends poorly with Brandon LaFell fumbling. The Bills scoop the ball again with slightly less than minutes left in the game.
The Bills’ drive starts off well enough with them getting multiple first downs. The Bengals are still not able to stop McCoy and the Bills’ rushing attack. The Bengals got the break it needed when Adam Jones got underneath a route and made a good play on the ball, intercepting it with slightly more than four minutes left. He nearly takes it in for a touchdown, but Taylor slows him down enough he is able to be tackled.
The Bengals start moving down the field, but they are moving slowly considering the time they have left. They are mixing in a good amount of runs which are working but costing a lot of time. After the two minute warning, Dalton finds Tyler Kroft for a long touchdown to bring the Bengals within a field goal.
The Bengals kick off to the Bills, and need a three and out for a real chance to win. The Bills ran on first down, and the Bengals stopped them. However, on second down the Bengals are unable to stop McCoy, and the Bills get a first down, forcing the Bengals to use a timeout. The Bills run on first, second and third down, and the Bengals only have one timeout. There are under 20 seconds left when the Bills punt and as the punt goes out of bounds the Bengals have only 10 seconds left. Dalton throws a pass over the middle to Kroft for 15 yards and the time runs out with the Bengals down 3.
This is a rough loss for the Bengals and would be a rough one if it occurred in real life as well. With the Ravens and Steelers both possessing clear weaknesses the Bengals hopes aren’t completely lost, especially if they can pull out a win against the Bills. No matter who wins, I expect the outcome to be similarly low scoring. This is a matchup of two tough defenses and the Bengals will need to clamp down on Taylor to give Dalton and the Bengals a chance to win.