The Bengals’ offense failed to live up to expectations against the Colts’ defense in Week 8 of the NFL season. The offense was not able to break 20 points against an opponent that has had one of the league’s poorer defenses so far. The Bengals’ offense was only able to muster 17 points with a pick six from Carlos Dunlap sealing the 24-23 victory. Now, coming into this week the Bengals are going to be matching up with one of the better defenses in the NFL in Jacksonville. The Jaguars’ starting cornerback tandem is one of the best in the league and Jacksonville (cough, Sacksonville) leads the league in sacks, having had two games with 10 sacks. They’re on pace for a ridiculous sack total. The Bengals’ offense is going to have to look much better this week than it did last week to stand a chance in this game. And the offensive line is going to need to play its best game of the year, if not the last two years. Hopefully, the Bengals are prepared.
So, how’s this game going to play out? We took to Madden 18 to simulate the matchup. Check out the video recap above or read on to find out who Madden foresees winning this matchup.
To start off the game, the Jaguars receive the ball and immediately start to try to pound the rock with Leonard Fournette. The Bengals stay strong and stop them and this starts a series of failed drives. The Bengals have two drives during which they fail to get a first down. Then, the Jaguars receive the punt from the Bengals and start to drive down the field. The Bengals are unable to stop them and Jacksonville wide receiver Keelan Cole catches a lead taking touchdown in the back of the endzone.
The Jaguars kick off and the Bengals continue to be unable to get a first down. Eventually after a series of failed drives by both teams, the Jaguars drive down the field and score on a pass to wide receiver Allen Hurns.
The Bengals are unable to do anything before halftime and receive the ball first in the third quarter. After going through most of the third quarter with more of the same, the Bengals are able to mount a drive, and with a minute left in the third quarter Joe Mixon is able to run it in from the goal line for a touchdown.
On the Bengals’ kickoff following the touchdown, the coverage team forces a fumble and it is scooped by Clayton Fejedelem who runs in the ball for a touchdown, tying up the game.
On the first play of the following drive, the Jaguars opt to pass and Dre Kirpatrick perfectly undercuts the route and intercepts the ball, returning it for a pick-six and taking the lead.
The Bengals and Jaguars once again start to exchange drives without success. Eventually, halfway through the fourth quarter the Bengals are finally able to sustain a drive. Then with less than two minutes left in the fourth, Randy Bullock makes the long kick to make it a two score game at 24-14.
The Jaguars receive the ball again and the Bengals sack Blake Bortles on first down. On second down, the Jaguars’ pass is incomplete and finally on third and long George Iloka intercepts the ball, sealing the win. The Bengals kneel the ball twice and take home the important victory.
This is about how I would imagine it would have to go for the Bengals to be able to win. Although I doubt all three scores would happen within a 30 second period. For the Bengals to beat the Jaguars, with how good their defense has been, they may need a defensive touchdown and a special teams touchdown. The key is to not turn the ball over like the Jaguars did in this simulation and for the defense to play lights out like they largely were before the bye. It would be weird for the Bengals to score so many points in the second half, after scoring none in the first, but this would be a final score I would be happy with.