The game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, which was stopped after Bill’s safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field, will Not be completed, the NFL announced on Thursday.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed all clubs of his decision Thursday after speaking with leadership of the Bills, Bengals and the NFL Players Association.
“It’s been a very difficult week,” Goodell said in a statement. “We remain focused on Damar Hamlin’s recovery and are heartened by the improvements in his condition and the tremendous support and concern for Damar and his family from across the country.”
Factors to consider when deciding: If the game is not completed, this will not affect which clubs qualify for the post-season; resumption of play would require a postponement of the start of the playoffs by one week, affecting all 14 clubs qualifying for the post-season game; Making the decision ahead of this weekend’s games allows all clubs to know the playoff options before they play the final games of the regular season.
Because the cancellation of the Bills/Bengals game creates “potential competitive disparities in certain playoff scenarios,” NFL clubs will consider a resolution in a special league meeting Friday that consists of two elements:
♦ The AFC Championship Game will be played at a neutral venue if the participating teams have played an unequal number of games and both could have been No. 1s and hosted the game if all AFC clubs had played a full 17-game regular season. These circumstances include Buffalo or Cincinnati qualifying for the game as a road team and are listed below:
Buffalo and Kansas City either win or both tie – a championship game between Buffalo and Kansas City would be played at a neutral venue.
Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Baltimore wins or a tie — a championship game between Buffalo and Kansas City would be played at a neutral venue.
Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Cincinnati wins — a championship game between Buffalo or Cincinnati vs. Kansas City would be played at a neutral venue.
♦ If Baltimore beats Cincinnati this weekend it will have defeated Cincinnati, a division opponent, twice, but it will Not be able to host a playoff game as Cincinnati will have a higher win percentage on a 16 game schedule than Baltimore on a 17 game schedule. When these two clubs play a wild card game against each other, the location is determined by a coin toss.
As the league enters the final week of play of the regular season, the playoff clinching scenarios are as follows, according to NFL Research:
* The Kansas City Chiefs can become the AFC No.
*The Chiefs would also win the No. 1 seed if the Bills lost to the Patriots Sunday afternoon.
*The Bills can secure first place with a win over the Patriots and a Chiefs loss to the Raiders.
* The Bengals can secure second place with a win over the Ravens and a Bills loss to the Patriots (using a “strength of win” tiebreaker).
https://tvline.com/2023/01/05/bills-bengals-nfl-game-cancelled-playoff-schedule/ NFL Cancels Bills/Bengals Game; Playoff changes will be discussed at the meeting