However, the offense stalled out for pretty much all of the second half allowing Rodgers to tie it up and eventually win in overtime. But hey, the Madden simulation finally managed to accurately predict one. On the downside, however, the Bengals hopes for the season are not looking good.
While the offense looked better in the first half, they struggled in the second half, and technically, the offense only scored 17 points when you take out William Jackson’s pick-six. The offense needs to continue to improve, and I believe they can.
The Bengals have a winnable set of games coming up that could miraculously change the tone of the season. Time to see how Madden predicts the first of these games against the Browns will go.
To start off the game the Browns receive the ball and get a solid return to start their drive. Kizer starts off the drive looking sharp hitting David Njoku for multiple big gains. The Browns get over onto the other side of the fifty, and the game is looking off to a bad start for the Bengals.
After stopping Isaiah Crowell then getting a sack the Bengals push the Browns back for 4th and 10. The Browns decide to go for the kick with rookie kicker Zane Gonzalez and, luckily for the Bengals, he doesn’t get nearly enough leg on it, and the Bengals get the ball back.
The Bengals offense starts moving the ball down the field, and it starts off with Dalton missing a wide-open Brandon LaFell deep down the field. However, he quickly sharpens up, and the Bengals start moving down the field. Joe Mixon is looking good and making people miss. The Browns eventually stop the Bengals, though, and the Bengals are forced to settle for a field goal.
The Bengals kick off and end up getting a touchback. The Bengals defense is swarming on this drive and they stop Isaiah Crowell on first down and second down and force the Browns into a third and long. Kizer ends up getting sacked and the Browns are punting from inside the twenty yard line.
The Bengals start a streak with this game of non offensive touchdowns by blocking the punt and running it into the end zone to take a 10-0 lead. George Iloka gets the block and Evans runs it into the end zone. If the Bengals are lucky this won’t be the last time Evans is in the end zone in his career.
The Bengals make the extra point and kick off the ball to the Browns. The Browns receive the ball and slowly start to march down the field. The Browns eventually get within scoring range and the Bengals defense is unable to stop anything on the drive. DeShone Kizer hits Ricardo Louis who stumbled into the end zone for the score. The Browns hit the extra point to bring the game back within three.
The Browns kick off again and give the Bengals plenty of time to score. The Bengals get off to a very good start to the drive. He hits Tyler Boyd for a long gain to get him down the field. Joe Mixon is looking good, often turning runs that are stopped at the line of scrimmage into long runs. The Bengals got into field goal range with not very much time left however. With ten seconds left the Bengals took a field goal instead of taking one shot at the end zone before taking the field goal. Either way the Bengals get the field goal and take a 13-7 lead into halftime.
The Bengals got the ball to receive the half and very quickly end up having to punt. The Bengals punt to the Browns and the Browns are also very quickly forced to punt. The Bengals receive the ball after the Browns punt and they are finally able to get something going. The Bengals very quickly drive down the field and get inside the ten yard line. The Bengals try to pass the ball and Andy Dalton made a foolish decision throwing the ball into double coverage for an easy interception.
The Browns start the drive from the twenty five yard line after the end zone interception and the Kizer makes quick work of the Bengals secondary driving down the field. With a good amount of the fourth quarter left Kizer throws a deep pass to Kenny Britt who is able to box out Adam Jones to get the touchdown. The Browns hit the extra point to take the lead.
The Bengals received the ball at the half and the offense once again starts looking sharp. Once again, it is largely because of rookie running back Joe Mixon. The Bengals drive the ball within field goal range and just have to avoid taking sacks to get a field goal and take the win.
However, on second down, Dalton takes a sack, nearly driving the Bengals out of field goal range. Then on fourth down Andy Dalton does the one thing he can’t do and takes another sack completely knocking them out of field goal range.
The Bengals are forced to punt. With just under three minutes left the Browns start with the ball at the 20 yard line. They start moving down the field and the Bengals are forced to take a timeout. The Browns have a 3rd and 2 and try and run for it and the Bengals stop them. The Browns are forced to punt it and the Bengals have one last chance.
The Bengals receive the ball and get a nice pass completion to Tyler Kroft immediately to start the drive. Then a long gain by Mixon gets stuff really going. A couple of short gains start to seem worrying with the Bengals not making good use of their time.
Giovani Bernard puts those fears to rest taking a short gain and getting the Bengals to a first and goal. Immediately following that, Joe Mixon plows in the for the touchdown, giving the Bengals the big time lead. The Bengals go for two but fail to get it.
The Browns receive the kick but things are looking grim. After multiple sacks taken the Browns are facing a 4th and 22 and Kizer heaves it deep into a crowd and Clayton Fejedelem comes down with the interception to end it.
I think the biggest thing I learned from watching this video is that the Bengals need to give Mixon the ball. I think anyone who watches the Bengals offense knows this to be honest.
Until Ross can get back on the field, the Bengals just don’t have the playmakers to threaten teams through the air. Until that happens, Mixon needs to be relied upon. If the Bengals lose this game there season would be basically guaranteed over at that point while winning it saves the slimmest hopes, especially since it would be sad to see the Bengals lose to the currently winless Browns.
If the Bengals lose to the Browns and continue their winless streak, that would certainly suggest changes would be coming and it would ultimately move the Bengals closer to winning the Darnold sweepstakes, which no Bengal fan thought was possible to begin the season.
How Dalton performs against a weak Cleveland defense will be very telling. If he plays like his Madden counterpart with two key interceptions and no touchdown passes, and taking a sack that nearly costs them the game, that certainly wouldn’t be a good look for him as the howls for AJ McCarron grow louder.