NFL to make two huge modifications to AFC playoffs after owners vote Friday in favor of proposals

NFL to make two huge modifications to AFC playoffs after owners vote Friday in favor of proposals

The AFC playoffs will look a little different this year, and that’s because the NFL’s 32 owners have voted to make two big changes to the postseason.

After making the decision Thursday night to cancel the Bills-Bengals game, the NFL also offered two proposals to change the AFC playoffs, and those proposals were officially voted on Friday.

According to the first proposal that was voted, the AFC Championship will now be played in a neutral game if any of the following three scenarios are met:

Scenario 1: If Buffalo and Kansas City both win or both tie in Week 18, then a Buffalo vs. Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site. Scenario 2: If the Bills and Chiefs both lose in Week 18 and Baltimore wins or ties with the Bengals, then a Buffalo vs. neutral site.

If necessary, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will determine the location of the game.

The NFL is also giving the Ravens a chance to host a wild-card game even though Baltimore will finish second in the AFC North regardless of what happens Sunday against the Bengals. Even if the Ravens win, it would move them to 11-6, which would be a half game behind Cincinnati, who would finish 11-5 with losses.

Under this scenario, the Ravens wouldn’t win the division even though they swept the Bengals AND had a better division record. To solve that problem, the owners have approved a proposal that would require a coin flip to determine the host of a potential Bengals-Ravens wild-card game. The currency return would only occur if both of the following scenarios are met:

1. The Ravens beat the Bengals on Sunday, and …
2. The two teams are scheduled to play each other in the wild card round.

With the two propositions now approved, that means the Bengals may not host a wild-card game even though they won the AFC North. Not surprisingly, the Bengals were the only team strongly opposed to both proposals. Katie Blackburn, the Bengals’ executive vice president, even sent out a memo trying to get teams to vote against the proposals, CBS Sports NFL’s Jonathan Jones reported Friday.

According to multiple reports, 25 owners voted yes — 24 votes were needed.

Because of the unprecedented nature of the situation, Goodell knew that not every team would be happy with the solution the NFL eventually came up with.

“As we’ve reviewed the football schedule, our principles have been to limit disruption across the league and minimize competitive disparities,” Goodell said of why the league came up with the two proposals. “I recognize there is no perfect solution. The proposal we are asking ownership to consider, however, addresses the most important potential equity issues created by the difficult but necessary decision not to play the game in these extraordinary circumstances .”

The circumstances Goodell is referring to is the situation involving Damar Hamlin. The Bills and Bengals played for nearly nine minutes Monday night before the game was stopped after the Bills safety went into cardiac arrest on the field. After CPR was administered, Hamlin was taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition for the past three days.

Although things looked dire when he was taken to the hospital on Monday, Hamlin has improved significantly over the past 24 hours with the Bills announcing Friday that he is no longer on a breathing tube and that he has even FaceTimed some of his teammates. of the Bills team.

“This has been a very difficult week,” Goodell said in a statement. “We remain focused on Damar Hamlin’s recovery and are encouraged by the improvements in his condition, as well as the outpouring of support and care for Damar and his family from across the country.”

With Hamlin’s health improving, the NFL finally sat down to figure out how to fix the AFC playoffs, and the above proposals are the two solutions they came up with.

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