Football is upon us, finally, and for Bengals fans it is all the sweeter as the team steps into a new era under Joe Burrow.
His first test will not be an easy one with the Los Angeles Chargers having a solid secondary and a deadly pass rush duo in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. The defense also won’t be having an easy time, having to try and slow down Mike Williams, Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler. The Bengals’ biggest free agent addition, D.J. Reader, will have his hands full as he tries to slow down Ekeler and an elusive quarterback in Tyrod Taylor.
With the Bengals wide receivers fully healthy this game has the potential to turn into an offensive slug-fest, so with that in mind let’s take a look at Madden 21 to see what it predicts.
The Chargers received the kickoff to start the game. They didn’t have much problem pushing the ball down the field, but eventually the Bengals get a sack on first down in the red zone. Right after the Bengals have hope though it is ripped away as the Chargers score on the next play on a throw to Mike Williams.
Following the Chargers’ touchdown the Bengals received the ball and out comes Joe Burrow for his very first Bengals drive. Not wanting to disappoint, he easily drives the Bengals down the field and on third-and-five just outside the red zone he hits C.J. Uzomah for the touchdown.
With the first quarter nearing it’s end the Chargers receive the ball once again and continue to have no problems moving against the Bengals’ defense; largely on the back of runs from Ekeler and Taylor. They move all the way down the field and then a hand-off up the middle to Ekeler finishes the drive with a touchdown.
The Bengals receive the ball following the Chargers’ touchdown and drive down the field. They get into the red zone, but the Chargers stop them on third down. The Bengals ain’t no cowards, though, and go for it on fourth-and-inches and Giovani Bernard runs it in for the equalizing touchdown.
Following the Bengals’ touchdown the Chargers receive the ball with just under two minutes left to score. They drive down the field and with nine seconds left and no timeouts Taylor hits Ekeler across the middle and he runs in for the touchdown.
Following the Chargers’ touchdown we go into halftime and the defensive coaches must have had a word with their teams, because in the third quarter, neither team is able to get any points on the board. With the third quarter nearing the end however, the Bengals were putting together a respectable drive. The drive stalls out though at the beginning of the fourth and they are forced to settle for a 34-yard field goal.
Following the field goal there are a few more drives with nothing happening. Right after the two minute warning hits however, the Chargers are able to put the Bengals in a bad position by scoring a touchdown off a run with Ekeler.
The Bengals start their drive in dire straits with under two minutes remaining and down two possessions. Any attempt at a last second comeback is thwarted when Burrow is stripped sacked. Joey Bosa picks up the loose ball and runs it in all the way to the other side for a touchdown to secure the Chargers win.
After the Chargers touchdown the Bengals try to drive down field and do get inside the red zone, but end up running out of time before being able to score. The Chargers win 35-17.
Madden 21 Win Loss prediction accuracy: 0-0