The Bengals are very banged up going into the last two weeks of the season and have been for the last few brutal losses as well. It looks like it may get even worse with the news that Andre Smith was put on IR and Cedric Ogbuehi isn’t practicing after being injured last week, too. For the final two weeks of the season, it isn’t even clear who the Bengals will be starting at offensive tackle. With this in mind, it might honestly not be a bad idea to start AJ McCarron to keep Andy Dalton from getting destroyed. However, it doesn’t seem like that is going to be the case so we are going to just have to hope he can stay healthy and unharmed.
How will Sunday’s game go? We took to Madden to simulate the Bengals vs Lions matchup.
The Bengals start the game receiving the ball and get a good return from Alex Erickson to the 35. They start off by running the ball and the Lions can’t stop it. Dalton attempts a pass, but the pressure almost immediately gets to him and its incomplete. The Bengals continue to successfully run the ball down the field and get within field goal range. However, the drive stalls when the Lions send extra blitzers. The Bengals attempt a field goal, but it is tragically blocked and returned for a touchdown by Miles Killebrew.
The Bengals receive the ball again and start to drive down the field. This time the passing game starts going and they are easily able to move down the field. Eventually they get into field goal range with a long pass to Tyler Kroft. The drive once again stalls when they get into field goal range and they have to kick a field goal from the 31. This time they manage to make the field goal.
Next, the Lions receive the ball after the Bengals field goal. They get a short gain on a run on first down and then are bottled up on second down. On third down the Bengals send Tony McRae on a blitz and he gets the sack and also forces a fumble, which is fallen on by Geno Atkins. The Bengals get the ball nearly inside their own 20 and on their first attempt get inside the 10 with a well placed pass to Alex Erickson. The drive stalls after that though when the Lions sack Dalton and the Bengals are forced to take a short field goal.
After that comes a long series of failed drives. Eventually the Lions get the ball back with two minutes left in the half and actually start to mount a drive down the field. The Lions get inside the redzone and throw a pass, which is caught, but a big hit forces it out and George Iloka scoops it up. He runs 81 yards down the field and scores the touchdown. This puts the Bengals up for the first time in the game, 13-7!
The Bengals kickoff to the Lions and on the Lions’ first pass of the new drive William Jackson III undercuts the route and grabs the interception. He is stopped short, but two plays later Dalton hits A.J. Green for the touchdown. The Bengals take a 20-7 lead into halftime.
The Lions receive the ball after halftime and begin slowly marching down the field. The Lions run game is working very well and they take a lot of time off the clock as they march down the field. Former Bengal turned Lions receiver Marvin Jones makes a big third down catch against his former team to bring the Lions to the 10 yard line. On the next play Matthew Stafford hits Golden Tate for the touchdown to bring the score within one possession.
The Bengals receive the ball and start a long possession of their own. They are running the ball a lot trying to run down the clock and score, playing conservative football. Of course!
Through a lot of little gains they get all the way down the field inside the five yard line. On first down Giovani Bernard is stopped before he can get anywhere. Then on second down Dalton fakes the handoff and runs it on himself on the apparent read option play. The Bengals go for two to make it a 14 point lead and get it on a short throw to Tyler Kroft.
28-14, Bengals is now the score.
The Bengals kick off to the Lions, but the Lions’ drive quickly stalls and they have to punt to the Bengals. The Bengals drive down the field after receiving the ball with some successful deep passes. However, the drive stalls inside the redzone and the Bengals are forced to take a field goal.
At 31-14, we’re wondering how the Bengals’ offense has suddenly become so effective?!
On the next drive, the Lions receive the ball and immediately get a first down with an easy pass to Eric Ebron. After that, the Lions are not able to get big gains. On fourth and short the Lions try and run it with Ameer Abdullah and are stopped, handing over the ball for the Bengals to receive it. The Bengals run the ball three times and get nowhere. So the Bengals decide to just take the field goal, putting the lead at 34-14 with almost no time left.
The Lions receive the ball and the Bengals completely lock them up from the get go. On third-and-seven Carl Lawson gets a sack to put the Lions into fourth and long. The Lions fail to convert and the Bengals get the ball back with less than 10 seconds left. The Bengals kneel and let time run out to win the game. The Bengals get a win against a team they were not expected to win against and probably knock them out of the playoffs.
Would you be happy about this outcome?