Bills-Bengals Game Will Not Resume
The NFL announced Thursday night it will not resume the Bengals and Bills game that was suspended Monday Night following the Damar Hamlin medical emergency.
The league also announced it will vote Friday on two adjustments to the AFC playoff table.
The cancellation of the Monday Night game will not impact which teams qualify for the postseason. However, it may impact seedings of the seven teams which led the league to propose several rule changes to even out the competitive inequities from not playing the game.
A proposal that will be voted on Friday by league owners would shift the AFC Championship game to a neutral site if any of the three scenarios are met:
Buffalo and Kansas City both win or both tie – a Buffalo vs Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Baltimore wins or ties – a Buffalo vs Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Cincinnati wins – a Buffalo or Cincinnati vs Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
If the Chiefs and Bills both win this weekend, Kansas City would be awarded the one seed and a bye. If the Bills win and the Chiefs lose, Buffalo would secure the top seed and get the bye.
The proposal would also give the Baltimore Ravens the chance at hosting a wild-card game even though they cannot win the AFC North.
If the Ravens beat the Bengals Sunday, Baltimore would not win the division at 11-6, as Cincinnati will hold an 11-5 record and a better winning percentage.
Under this scenario, the Ravens would not hold the division title despite beating the Bengals twice and holding a better division record. To help fix the issue, the proposal would have the NFL flip a coin to see who hosts a potential Ravens-Bengals wild-card game if:
If Baltimore defeats Cincinnati and if those two clubs are scheduled to play a Wild Card game against one another.
If Cincinnati wins the Week 18 game or if Baltimore and Cincinnati are not scheduled to play one another in the Wild Card round, the game sites would be determined by the regular scheduling procedures.
“As we considered the football schedule, our principles have been to limit disruption across the league and minimize competitive inequities,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “I recognize that there is no perfect solution. The proposal we are asking the ownership to consider, however, addresses the most significant potential equitable issues created by the difficult, but necessary, decision not to play the game under these extraordinary circumstances.”