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AFC playoffs: Title game could be at neutral site, NFL decides, because of Bills-Bengals schedule imbalance


The NFL homeowners have authorized an unprecedented postseason plan following the cancellation of Monday evening’s Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals recreation, which might enable the title recreation for the American Soccer Convention to be held at a impartial web site.

The league held a particular digital assembly with all 32 staff homeowners or their designee on Friday to find out attainable playoff situations, as a result of two groups, the Payments and Bengals, can have performed fewer common season video games.

Monday evening’s recreation between the Payments and Bengals was canceled after Damar Hamlin collapsed on the sector and was taken to the hospital. Whereas different groups can have performed 17 video games, Buffalo and Cincinnati will enter the playoffs having performed 16 contests.

“I acknowledge that there is no such thing as a good resolution,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell mentioned Thursday after the proposal was authorized by the competitors committee and earlier than it acquired approval from the golf equipment. “The proposal we’re asking the possession to contemplate, nonetheless, addresses probably the most vital potential equitable points created by the troublesome, however mandatory, determination to not play the sport below these extraordinary circumstances.”

The NFL homeowners authorized the distinctive plan to host the AFC Championship recreation at a impartial web site if the 2 collaborating groups performed an unequal variety of video games and each groups may have been a possible prime seed had the Payments-Bengals recreation been performed to its conclusion.

The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (13-3) go into the weekend because the potential prime seed, which in regular years means it could play all its playoff video games at house.

The Payments are 12-3 and maintain the No. 2 seed earlier than the final games of the season on Saturday and Sunday. The Bengals are No. 3 within the playoff image at 11-4. Groups are seeded by common season successful proportion, the NFL said Friday.

There are three situations during which the AFC title recreation could be at a impartial web site. They every contain the Chiefs and Payments having the identical consequence (win, loss or tie) this weekend.

Listed here are the chances, per an NFL launch

• Situation 1 – If Buffalo and Kansas Metropolis each win or each tie, a Buffalo vs Kansas Metropolis championship recreation could be at a impartial web site.

• Situation 2 – If Buffalo and Kansas Metropolis each lose and Baltimore wins or ties, a Buffalo vs Kansas Metropolis championship recreation could be at a impartial web site.

• Situation 3 – If Buffalo and Kansas Metropolis each lose and Cincinnati wins, a Buffalo or Cincinnati vs Kansas Metropolis championship recreation could be at a impartial web site.

The homeowners additionally authorized Friday a plan to make use of a coin flip to find out the house area if the Bengals and Baltimore Ravens (10-6) find yourself as opponents in a wild card recreation.

The Ravens and the Bengals play Sunday and, with the schedule imbalance, the Ravens now not have an opportunity to win the AFC North.

“If Baltimore defeats Cincinnati in Week 18 it is going to have defeated Cincinnati, a divisional opponent, twice however won’t be able to host a playoff recreation as a result of Cincinnati can have the next successful proportion for a 16-game schedule than Baltimore will for a 17-game schedule,” the NFL defined in its Thursday information launch. A Baltimore victory would push the Ravens to an 11-6 report whereas the Bengals could be 11-5.

Had each groups completed 11-6 the Ravens would have received the division primarily based on defeating the Bengals twice.

The situations vote wanted at the very least 24 of the 32 homeowners to approve the resolutions to go.

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