The Bengals are one of five winless teams left in the NFL through Week 4. However, there will be at least one less winless team after they take on the 0-3-1 Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
This will be the second week in a row Cincinnati faces another team with a zero in the wins column, but after a lifeless effort against the Steelers on Monday, opposing records shouldn’t give Bengals fans much comfort anymore.
Along with getting blown out, they also lost receiver John Ross III for what maybe the season, which is rough considering he had a great start to the year and the Bengals have questionable WR depth.
This game is the Bengals best chance for a win for a bit though, facing off against a struggling Arizona with a young QB, a struggling OL and a lot of their own issues at wide receiver.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what the Madden simulation has to say.
The game starts with the Cardinals receiving the ball, however it is quite some time before either offense is able to get anything going going scoreless through the first quarter with a series of punts by each team. The Cardinals receive a punt with about five minutes left in the half when they are finally able to get a drive going down the field. The Bengals get them into a third-and-goal situation, but Kyler Murray is able to hit his tight end for the touchdown.
The Bengals receive the ball after the Cardinals touchdown and this seems to have woken their offense up because they quickly march down field and get into a scoring position. The Cardinals are also able to get the Bengals into a third-and-goal situation of their own, but just like the Cardinals, the Bengals are able to hit their big man in Auden Tate for their first points and his first career touchdown.
After the Bengals touchdown it quickly goes into halftime and the coaches must have given the worst halftime speech ever, because just like the start of the game the offenses are both lifeless. Once again when it changes quarters the Cardinals offense comes alive and marches down the field. This time though the Bengals stop them on the one-yard line and the Cardinals get the field goal.
The Bengals receive the ball after this but quickly go three and out and are forced to punt. They are able to stop the Cardinals, but end up with no timeouts and less than a minute left, starting from deep in their own territory. Andy Dalton is able to hit Giovani Bernard way downfield to take them to the 42-yard line. Then with time still rolling Andy Dalton is able to hit Auden Tate who gets to the 35-yard line, but is unable to get out of bounds with 20 seconds left on the clock.
It is at this point that I would like to reiterate that I control none of this, I just set it to simulate and watch and record. With 20 seconds left and the ball on the 35-yard line, the Bengals are seemingly in field goal range. Instead of rushing out the kicking unit or running a spike to stop the clock, the Bengals just run a normal play. Time expires shortly after the ball is snapped and Dalton throws it well short of the end zone, not even particularly close to being caught. I don’t know if the CPU knew Randy Bullock wasn’t making it or if the CPU wanted the Bengals to lose, but I thought it was weirdly poetic.
Anyways after time expires the Cardinals take home the victory 10-7 and are no longer one of the select few winless teams.
2019 Madden Prediction Record: 4-0
(Did I mention the Cardinals won with 56 passing yards?)