While the football community’s attention has turned to the Bills’ safety, Dummer Hamlin’s health, well-being and recovery, the NFL has done an enviable job of trying to make up for canceled games when it comes to playoff pictures. Given.
The league originally canceled later in the week after postponing the Bills-Bengals slant after Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field. Monday night’s game had a significant impact on the playoffs, so the league had to address how to deal with the impact of canceled games on seeding and homefield advantage in the playoffs.
NFL owners passed a resolution Friday to change the rules of the AFC playoff after a no-contest. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
If the Ravens defeat the Bengals on Sunday and these two teams are set to face off in the playoffs, the game’s place will be determined by a coin toss. The Bengals are considered AFC North champions without winning a “no contest” game against the Bills. However, with a win for Buffalo on Monday night, Baltimore could have won the division, so the league felt right to give the Ravens a chance to hold a playoff game.
This scenario has “outraged” many in the Bengals organization as they feel the franchise has been disadvantaged by the league’s resolution. The league reportedly told Cincinnati that they were delighted to be named champions of the AFC North.
If the Bengals lose to the Ravens on Sunday and other results in the league finally pit the two franchises against each other in next week’s wildcard round, history could be made. If the home field advantage in the contest leads to a coin toss that ultimately favors the Ravens, the Bengals will become the first team in NFL history to win a division, with a wild card round along the way.
In a memo obtained by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn urged teams to vote against the NFL’s resolution.
“The proper process for changing the rules is in the offseason,” wrote Blackburn. “We are in a position to vote for things that can introduce biases, favor one team over another, or affect our situation when the votes are taken just before the playoffs. Placing teams is not appropriate.”
Blackburn sits on the league’s competition committee, but the scenario presented by the NFL has a direct impact on the Bengals, giving them reason to directly oppose the team on behalf of the team this week.
Regardless of how the Bengals feel, the dreaded coin toss scenario can be avoided entirely with a win at home to the Ravens on Sunday.