The Cincinnati Bengals are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2015 while the Las Vegas Raiders are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Both teams have a lengthy playoff drought hanging over their heads as they enter the Wild Card round but one of those ugly streaks has to end.
Madden accurately predicted that the Bengals’ backups would lose to the Browns’ starters a week ago. Let’s see what the video game predicts for the first playoff game of the Joe Burrow era.
Madden Simulation – Bengals 27, Raiders 21
- Joe Burrow – 27-of-36, 306 yards, 2 TD
- Joe Mixon – 20 carries, 103 yards, TD; 4 rec, 36 yards
- Ja’Marr Chase – 7 rec, 98 yards
- Tee Higgins – 5 rec, 67 yards, TD
- C.J. Uzomah – 2 rec, 14 yards, TD
- Logan Wilson – 12 tackles
- Trey Hendrickson – 2 sacks
- Sam Hubbard – Sack
- Eli Apple – INT
- Mike Hilton – INT
- Derek Carr – 19-of-31, 198 yards, TD, 2 INT
- Josh Jacobs – 21 carries, 87 yards, 2 TD; 3 rec, 16 yards
- Darren Waller – 7 rec, 114 yards, TD
- K.J. Wright – 7 tackles
- Maxx Crosby – 1.5 sacks
- Denzel Perryman – 0.5 sacks
The Bengals win the coin toss and defer, meaning it’ll be the black and silver up first on offense. Carr is clearly rattled by the crowd noise on the first drive, throwing two incomplete passes on second and third down to get the Cincy defense off the field.
Burrow and the offense have an excellent first drive but stall in the red zone, which leads to an Evan McPherson field goal. 3-0 good guys.
After the teams trade punts over the next four possessions, the Raiders look to finally have something going but fortunately for Cincinnati, Carr throws a pick to Hilton to end the drive. Burrow then connects with Higgins three players later to put the stripes up 10-0 with a few minutes to go until halftime.
Carr and the Raiders take up the rest of the first half on their next drive and get into the end zone on a Jacobs 2-yard rushing touchdown to make it a 10-7 score at the half.
The Bengals get the ball to start the second half and the drive takes up a good chunk of the third quarter thanks to some gutsy runs by Mixon. It makes sense then to let Mixon be the one to score on that drive and he does on a six-yard run to make it a 17-7 game.
After the Raiders go 3-and-out on their next drive, Cincy gets down into the red zone again and McPherson makes it a 20-7 game. Bengals fans know not to get too comfortable, especially with an entire quarter left to play.
On the next Raiders drive, Carr connects with Waller — who has gashed the Cincy defense to this point — on a 16-yard touchdown pass, and just like that, it’s a one-score game again at 20-14.
The Bengals punt on their next drive and there are roughly eight minutes to go in the game. Las Vegas starts driving down the field and if this were real life, everyone in Cincinnati would be holding their breath. As Carr looks to get his team the lead, he throws a costly pick to Apple, who takes it deep into Raiders territory.
Just like that, the momentum is back with the Bengals!
Burrow quickly responds with a short touchdown pass to Uzomah and the good guys stay on top with a 27-14. There are just under three minutes left when Jacobs is able to scamper into the end zone to make the lead a little less comfortable again.
Fortunately, Cincinnati recovers the onside kick and they’re able to run out the clock. Cincinnati Bengals advance in the playoffs for the first time since 1991.
Fans are desperately hoping that Madden is correct with its simulation. This sounds like it’d be quite the game!