NFL approves proposed neutral-site AFC championship game plan

NFL approves proposed neutral-site AFC championship game plan

The owners of the NFL have given their approval to a plan that allows for a neutral-site AFC Championship Game and the use of a coin flip to determine which team will have home field advantage in a wild-card game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.

Following the cancellation of the Bills-Bengals game on Monday, the following scenarios were approved for holding the title game at a neutral location:

• A neutral venue would be used for the Bills-Chiefs championship game if Buffalo (12-3) and Kansas City (13-3) both win or tie.

• The Bills-Chiefs championship game would be played at a neutral location if Baltimore wins or ties and both Buffalo and Kansas City lose.

• If Cincinnati (11-4) wins and both Buffalo and Kansas City lose, a neutral site would be used for the Bills or Bengals vs. Chiefs championship game.

A coin flip would decide where the Ravens would play Cincinnati in an AFC wild-card game if they win Sunday’s game against the Bengals. Regular scheduling procedures would be used if Cincinnati wins or if the two teams do not play each other after a potential Ravens win.

The NFL stated in a resolution that the changes would only be in place for the 2022 season. A three-fourths majority (24 owners out of 32) was required to approve the changes on Friday.

The possible neutral locations have not yet been identified. Throughout the playoffs, the seeds will remain unchanged. The Chiefs will receive a bye into the divisional round if both Buffalo and Kansas City win this weekend. The Buffalo Bills will be the No. 1 team if they win and Kansas City loses. 1 seed and a bye, in which case there would be no neutral sites involved.

Coach Zac Taylor stated that his team felt disadvantageed by the proposal, which was made on Friday despite the Bengals’ apparent opposition.

“It’s important for the team to know that, because somebody’s got to fight for you. It’s clearly not coming from the league,” Taylor said Friday. “It’s nice to have our ownership and front office support the players like they have. That is important for us.”

When Bills safety Damar Hamlin made a tackle and went into cardiac arrest, the game between Buffalo and Cincinnati on Monday was called off with less than six minutes left in the first quarter and the Bengals leading 7-3. Before being transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, his heartbeat was reestablished on the field.

The NFL cited three main factors in its decision to cancel the game on Thursday: The teams that qualified for the postseason would not be affected by the outcome; The remaining teams’ playoff schedules would have been altered had they played the game; Additionally, refraining from playing the game would enable all clubs to determine their postseason prospects prior to Week 18.

The scenarios were approved on Thursday by the competition committee, which is comprised of Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn. Seth Wickersham of ESPN obtained a memo from Blackburn in which he urged teams to vote against the scenarios. In this scenario, the timing of a rule change away from the standard of winning percentages was the basis of her reasoning.

“The proper process for making rule change is in the off-season,” Blackburn wrote. “It is not appropriate to put teams in a position to vote for something that may introduce bias, favor one team over another or impact their own situation when the vote takes place immediately before the playoffs.”

Friday, Taylor also emphasized numerous times the necessity of adhering to existing regulations.

Taylor stated, “There’s several instances this season when the club is fined or people in our building are fined and told to follow the rules, it’s black and white, it’s in the rulebook.” “So now when we point out the rules and you’re told, ‘We’re going to change that,’ that seems… I don’t want to hear about fair and equitable when that’s the case.”

“There is no perfect solution,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged in a statement on Thursday.

He stated, “Our principles have been to limit disruption across the league and minimize competitive inequities” when considering the football schedule.

A source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that the Chiefs decided not to vote on the proposed changes to the AFC playoffs because they thought teams directly affected by the changes shouldn’t vote because of bias.

On Friday, the Bills made the announcement that Hamlin had stopped using a breathing tube and that he had started talking to his care team, family, and teammates.

Topics #Buffalo #game #neutral-site AFC championship #NFL

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