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San Diego Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals - Wild Card Simulation

Using the most up to date Madden 25 rosters, I will simulate each game of the NFL playoffs in hopes to get a realistic preview of what could happen this NFL playoffs.

Check out the Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts Simulation!
Check out the New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles Simulation!
Check out the San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers Simulation!

Who Will Win?
Cincinnati Bengals0%
San Diego Chargers0%

Coming from beautiful sunny San Diego, the Chargers are forced to play in a brutally cold 18 degrees with light snow falling in Cincinnati, creating slippery conditions on the field. After winning the coin toss, the Chargers will let the Bengals start with the ball.

The Bengals came out hot, proving the cold and snow won't slow them down at all. They go 75 yards on 7 plays, with an A.J. Green 21 yard tip toe catch along the side of the end zone capping off the drive.

On the very first play for the Chargers, Vontaze Burfict laid a big hit on Ryan Mathews, causing the ball to come flying loose but the Chargers were able to recover it and avoid a total disaster start on the road.

Carlos Dunlap gets a huge sack on Philip Rivers on third down, causing a Chargers 3 and out.

Despite allowing a 22 yard pass to Green that put the Bengals into Chargers territory, San Diego's defense held Cincy to just a field goal as Mike Nugent connects from 38 yards out to give the Bengals a 10-0 lead.

Again, on third down the Bengals brought the pressure and hit Rivers as he threw, resulting in an incomplete pass and forcing another punt from the Chargers.
The quarter, which was completely dominated by the Bengals comes to an end as the Bengals pick up another first down and are now in Chargers territory.

End of 1st: Bengals 10 Chargers 0

Tight end Jermaine Gresham caps off another scoring drive for the Bengals, as he catches a pass from Andy Dalton out of the flat and bullies his way into the end zone, running right through cornerback Richard Marshall.

The Chargers finally got on the board, and they did it quickly. A scrambling Philip Rivers found a wide open Vincent Brown who got behind cornerback Adam Jones, who slipped and fell trying to keep up. Brown easily scores a 62 yard touchdown.

After a Donald Butler sack on third down, the Bengals sent Nugent out to attempt a 51 yarder. The kick went wide left, giving the Chargers the ball at their own 41.

Picking up 31 yards on 4 straight runs, Rivers hit Keenan Allen on back to back plays. The first going for 12 yards, and the second, a 14 yard touchdown. Rivers threw a jump ball for Allen who simply went up and got it over Adam Jones. This cut the Bengals lead to 17-14 with 1:58 left in the half.

Apparently that was too much time for the Bengals. Andy Dalton continued his near perfect first half, as he connected with 4 different receivers all for 1st downs, and even scrambled 11 yards for a 1st down, before hitting Marvin Jones over the middle for an 11 yard touchdown with just 16 seconds left in the half.

At the Half: Bengals 24 Chargers 14

Despite being in Bengals territory, the Chargers wisely chose not to go for it on 4th and 3, as they trailed by 10 already and punted the football to pin the Bengals deep in their own zone.

The Chargers defense forced their first 3 and out of the game, which set up good field position for their offense.

However the Chargers offense could not muster anything and the teams traded punts on the next two possessions.

After picking up a first down inside the Bengals 10 yard line, the Chargers offense was unable to find pay dirt. Nick Novak was called upon and hit on his first field goal attempt from 24 yards out.

After 3: Bengals 24 Chargers 17

On 3rd and 7, it seemed as if Dalton and Green connected on another touchdown, this time from 40 yards out. However, video replayed showed that Green did not get his left foot down in bounds and it was ruled incomplete, forcing another Bengals punt.

San Diego struggled to convert on third downs, going just 1 for 8 up to this point in the game. But Rivers completed a pass to Eddie Royal who picked up the first down.  Royal couldn't hold onto the ball after a big hit from George Iloka, knocking the ball loose right at midfield before being recovered by linebacker Vincent Rey. A huge blow to the Chargers who were marching down the field for a potential game trying score.

The Chargers look deflated on defense following the fumble as the Bengals ran the ball right down their throats, before Dalton ran it in from 3 yards out on a play action bootleg. With just under 2 minutes left in the game, the Chargers found themselves down 14.

On 4th down at the Bengals 37, Rivers was forced to scramble to try and pick up the 7 yards, he got about 5 before he was hit hard by James Harrison, forcing the ball loose and Dre Kirkpatrick jumped on it, sealing the win for the Bengals.

Final Score: Bengals 31 Chargers 17


PlayerCompAttPass YdsINTRush YdsRecRec YdsTDs
Andy Dalton18282623
Philip Rivers25382472
Ryan Mathews75311
BenJarvus Green-Ellis71
Giovani Bernard20333
Danny Woodhead14745
A.J. Green6921
Jermaine Gresham3471
Marvin Jones4451
Keenan Allen4371
Antonio Gates322