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



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The NFL house owners have accepted an unprecedented postseason plan following the cancellation of Monday night time’s Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals sport, which might permit the title sport for the American Soccer Convention to be held at a impartial web site.

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

Monday night time’s sport between the Payments and Bengals was canceled after Damar Hamlin collapsed on the sector and was taken to the hospital. Whereas different groups could 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 accepted by the competitors committee and earlier than it acquired approval from the golf equipment. “The proposal we’re asking the possession to think about, nonetheless, addresses probably the most vital potential equitable points created by the troublesome, however needed, choice to not play the sport underneath these extraordinary circumstances.”

The NFL house owners accepted the distinctive plan to host the AFC Championship sport at a impartial web site if the 2 taking part groups performed an unequal variety of video games and each groups may have been a possible prime seed had the Payments-Bengals sport 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 might 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 profitable share, the NFL said Friday.

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

Listed below are the chances, per an NFL launch

• State of affairs 1 – If Buffalo and Kansas Metropolis each win or each tie, a Buffalo vs Kansas Metropolis championship sport can be at a impartial web site.

• State of affairs 2 – If Buffalo and Kansas Metropolis each lose and Baltimore wins or ties, a Buffalo vs Kansas Metropolis championship sport can be at a impartial web site.

• State of affairs 3 – If Buffalo and Kansas Metropolis each lose and Cincinnati wins, a Buffalo or Cincinnati vs Kansas Metropolis championship sport can be at a impartial web site.

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

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

“If Baltimore defeats Cincinnati in Week 18 it’ll have defeated Cincinnati, a divisional opponent, twice however will be unable to host a playoff sport as a result of Cincinnati could have a better profitable share 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 document whereas the Bengals can 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 least 24 of the 32 house owners to approve the resolutions to move.