Sunday marks the beginning of the 2022 season for the Cincinnati Bengals and they'll host the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first game of the campaign.
Both of these teams made the playoffs last year with the Bengals winning the AFC North and eventually reaching the Super Bowl, only to lose to the Rams. The Steelers, on the other hand, snuck in as a 7-seed and lost to the Chiefs in the Wild Card round.
Following that loss to Kansas City, Ben Roethlisberger called it a career. Now the Steelers are left with Mitch Trubisky as their starting quarterback and it'll be interesting to see what the former No. 2 overall pick can do in his first start with his new team.
How does Madden see this game turning out?
Week 1 Madden Sim: Bengals 34, Steelers 20
Apparently, Madden really likes Cincinnati's chances to blow out the Steelers once again. This game actually is even more of a blowout than the score indicates but Pittsburgh manages to add a touchdown in garbage time.
The Steelers receive the ball first and strike some fear into Bengals fans when they march down the field and cap the drive off with a 17-yard Trubisky touchdown pass to Pat Freiermuth. Just like that, the Steelers are up 7-0.
It takes the Bengals a bit to get going but they do manage to tack on a 52-yard Evan McPherson field goal at the end of the first quarter to get on the board for the first time in the season.
After Trubisky throws an interception to Eli Apple, the Bengals are set up in a goal-to-go situation and the drive finishes with a two-yard Joe Mixon run into the end zone. Now, the good guys are up 10-7 and don't look back after this score.
By half time, the Bengals are up 24-7 after Joe Burrow hits Ja'Marr Chase and Hayden Hurst for touchdowns. The bludgeoning is officially on.
Burrow gets picked off on the first drive of the second half and that makes it easy for Najee Harris to scamper into the end zone on a seven-yard carry to help stop the bleeding. Fortunately for Cincy, however, Burrow rebounds and immediately hits Chase on a 67-yard touchdown pass that puts the stripes up 31-14.
After McPherson tacks on the final points of the day for Cincinnati, the Steelers rush to try and get the game within reach but run out of time. The game ends as Trubisky barrels into the end zone and the extra point doesn't matter by then.
Burrow puts up nice stats in his first game of the season, totaling three touchdown passes and one interception while tossing for 301 yards and scampering for 14 yards. Mixon has 17 carries that go for 102 yards and a rushing score.
Chase, by far, has the most eye-popping stats offensively, finishing the day with 172 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Yeah, that'll do.
Trubisky isn't terrible in his first-ever Steelers start, tossing for 205 yards, one touchdown, and one interception while rushing for 35 yards and a score. Harris has the only other score for the Steelers but doesn't get much on the ground due to the Steelers falling behind. He finishes with just 27 yards rushing.
Defensively, Trey Hendrickson notches 1.5 sacks, Logan Wilson leads the way in tackles with nine, and Eli Apple had the lone interception. For the Steelers, T.J. Watt sacks Burrow once and Cameron Hayward also adds a sack.
Bengals fans would be thrilled to see the team blow out the Steelers for a third straight time. How accurate will Madden be with this simulation? We'll find out on Sunday.