It is the last week of the season and the Bengals are not going to be advancing to the playoffs for the third straight year. However, the AFC North crown is still up for grabs and the Bengals can play spoiler for the second year in a row.
The Ravens and Steelers are vying for the fourth seed in the AFC bracket, and the Steelers need the Ravens to lose at home against the Browns while taking care of the Bengals to win the division. After losing seven of their last eight, the Bengals will try to end their season on a high note like last year, but beating the Steelers would have its own consequences as it would negatively affect their draft position.
Considering the current spread that depicts the Bengals as two-touchdown underdogs, it’s unlikely we see an upset on Sunday afternoon. But let’s see if our Madden simulation tells us otherwise.
The Steelers start off with the ball and get a decent drive going before the Bengals stop them right after they get past midfield. The Steelers are forced to punt and the Bengals get the ball. The Bengals drive right down the field, but are forced to settle for a field goal.
Following the field goal, both teams go three-and-out several times before the Bengals finally get a drive going. Despite arriving in the red zone, they are once again stopped short of the goal line and are forced to settle for another field goal.
After the field goal, the Steelers get the ball back and begin to drive down the field. After a long drive down the field the Steelers score on a touchdown pass to their tight end. With the extra point, the Steelers have taken a one-point lead.
The Bengals get the ball back and with under forty seconds left and hit on some big shots down the field. Because of this, they’re able to get a field goal to end the half. They take back the lead before halftime.
At the start of the third quarter, neither team is able to do much with the ball until about two minutes left in the half when the Steelers complete a deep pass downfield. They find themselves inside the ten and on first-and-goal Ben Roethlisberger takes off and scrambles into the end zone for the touchdown to take the lead back.
After the Steelers touchdown the Bengals get the ball and with a new sense of urgency start driving desperately down the field. The offense is humming and they are getting close to pay dirt. On first-and-goal Giovani Bernard receives the hand-off and takes the ball into the end zone for the touchdown and the lead. The Bengals go for two to try to extend their lead to three, but fail to convert.
The Bengals kickoff to the Steelers after their touchdown and the Steelers offense gets a good drive going. They are moving fairly easily down the field, but a sack on second down by Geno Atkins puts them in a position they are unable to convert. However, they are still in field goal range and make the field goal to take the lead,
After the Steelers take the lead the Bengals get the ball back and start to drive down the field. However, around the fifty yard line the Steelers defense clamps down. They bring the Bengals to a fourth down situation where they have to convert to stay in it, and are able to swat the ball down leading to the end of the game.
2018 Madden prediction record accuracy: 8-7