The NFL announced today that the Week 17 game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals will not resume and has been cancelled.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell briefed clubs on the decision Thursday after speaking with the Bills, Bengals and NFL Players Association Leadership.
This has been a very difficult week,’ Goodell said. “We continue to focus on Damar Hamlin’s recovery and are encouraged by the improvements in her condition, as well as the tremendous amount of support and care for Damar and her family from across the country. We are also incredibly grateful for the incredible work of the staff. doctor and congratulate each and every one of them”.
The NFL stated the following factors in reaching the decision to cancel the game:
- Not playing the Buffalo-Cincinnati game until its conclusion will have no effect on which clubs qualify for the postseason. No club would qualify for the postseason and no club will be eliminated based on the outcome of this game.
- It would require postponing the playoffs by a week, which would affect the 14 clubs that qualify for the postseason.
- Making the decision before week 18 is consistent with our competitive principles and allows all clubs to know their playoff chances before playing the final weekend of regular season games.
The NFL’s complete breakdown of scenarios involving the AFC No. 1 race between the Bills, Bengals, and Kansas City Chiefs, as well as the protocol required to play the AFC Championship at a neutral site, is hereby released. you can see below:
- The AFC Championship Game will be played at a neutral site if the participating teams played an unequal number of games and both could have been the number one seed and host the game if all AFC clubs had played a full regular season of 17 games. Those circumstances involve either Buffalo or Cincinnati qualifying for the game as the road team and are listed below.
Scenario 1: Buffalo and Kansas City win or tie: A championship game between Buffalo and Kansas City would be at a neutral site.
Scenario 2: Buffalo and Kansas City lose and Baltimore wins or ties: A championship game between Buffalo and Kansas City would be at a neutral site.
Scenario 3: Buffalo and Kansas City lose and Cincinnati win: A Buffalo or Cincinnati vs. Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
- If Baltimore defeats Cincinnati in week 18, it will have beaten Cincinnati, a divisional opponent, twice, but it won’t be able to host a playoff game because Cincinnati will have a higher winning percentage for a 16-game schedule than Baltimore for a 17-game schedule. games. calendar.
If Baltimore defeats Cincinnati and if those two clubs are scheduled to play a wild card game against each other, the site for that game will be determined by lottery. If Cincinnati wins the Week 18 game or if Baltimore and Cincinnati are not scheduled to play each other in the wild card round, the game sites will be determined by regular scheduling procedures.
“In considering the football schedule, our principles have been to limit disruption to the league and minimize competitive inequalities,” Goodell said. ‘I recognize that there is no perfect solution. The proposal we are asking ownership to consider, however, addresses the most significant potential equity issues created by the difficult, but necessary, decision not to play the game in these extraordinary circumstances.”
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