The Steelers are coming into their game against the Bengals extremely banged up and will be without a few key players. However, considering how anemic the Bengals passing offense has been, it is hard to foresee the Bengals pulling this one out even with the issues the Steelers are dealing with.
Sitting at 0-10, the practicality of winning at all has to be in question for the Bengals. This is made even harder by the fact their opponent this week is their most hated rival. Beating the Steelers is never a bad outcome, but securing a top quarterback in the draft is a priority that’s worth assuring, especially with the QB class taking a hit with Tua Tagovailoa’s injury.
Let’s go to the Madden simulation to see if Madden predicts the Bengals keeping the top pick for one more week.
The Bengals start with the ball, however it is not long until you can see the effect injuries are having on this game as through the first quarter and a half both teams are scoreless. Midway through the second quarter, the Steelers drove down the field and on second-and-goal, James Conner is able to punch it in for the Steelers touchdown.
After the Steelers touchdown the Bengals get the ball, but they aren’t able to get much going and have to punt. After the punt the Steelers drive down the field and on third-and-goal with less than 20 seconds to go, Mason Rudolph is able to hit a Steelers wide receiver for a touchdown.
After halftime, the Steelers receive the ball and start to drive down the field before they stall out and have to punt to the Bengals. The Bengals’ offense is nearly able to push the ball into the red zone for the first time this game. However, their drive also stalls out and the Bengals are forced to take the field goal.
The Steelers receive the next kickoff and this time they are able to drive most of the way down the field. Once they get in the red zone, their drive once again stalls out in side the 10 and they are forced to take the field goal.
After this the Bengals try to get a quick score in, but they are unable to and are forced to punt. The Bengals’ poor run defense shows up here as the Steelers are able to get several first downs and eventually this leads to the Steelers organization running out the clock by getting several first downs. Game over.
If the Bengals manage to put up just three points this week, it would be beneficial for them to make the switch to their third string QB Jake Dolegala. We know who Ryan Finley is, and the prospect of watching Dolegala push the ball down the field might be too tantalizing to pass up.
Either way, the Bengals need to be ready to put out the younger players out there to see how they could potentially fit into the new team structure.