Bills Neutral Site AFC Title Game Could Be Very Close to Buffalo
The Buffalo Bills are about to wrap up their 2022 regular season, as they host the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium today.
The Bills need to win to assure they are the 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. With a loss and a Bengals win over the Ravens, the Bills could fall to the 3 seed.
The Patriots need this game to make the playoffs. If New England loses, that opens the door for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins.
Unfortunately, the Bills and Bengals both have no chance at the 1 seed, as the Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up the top seed in the AFC with a win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Bills never had a fair shot for the number one seed, after the events that transpired with Damar Hamlin on Monday Night Football. Both the Bills and Bengals have played one less game and while the league couldn't give the Bills the fair chance at the bye week in the playoffs, they did make sure the Chiefs didn't have all the perks of that 1 seed.
If the Bills win today, that means that if it's the Bills and Chiefs in the AFC Championship, that game will be played at a neutral site field.
Indianapolis and Detroit seemed like the two likely options, but because of both stadiums having scheduling conflicts, the NFL will have to look elsewhere.
Would the NFL consider an outdoor stadium? Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network says "yes, they absolutely would."
Rapoport is reporting that the league is strongly considering an outdoor stadium, especially since both the Bills and Chiefs play in outdoor stadiums.
"The NFL would love for it to be an outdoor stadium, both these teams are outdoor teams."
Rapoport says Pittsburgh is one to keep an eye on.
"How about Pittsburgh? Acrisure Stadium. The home of Damar Hamlin, that is a thought," says Rapoport.
That would mean the neutral site for the AFC Championship game would be just three hours away from Buffalo. That would please all Bills fans but maybe not please the Kansas City Chiefs, hypothetically thinking these two teams meet down the road.
There is a scenario where the Bills lose and the Bengals win today, which would mean a Chiefs-Bengals neutral site AFC title game, which would also be close to Cincinnati; just a four-plus hour drive.
Damar Hamlin's hometown is Pittsburgh and that's the stadium he played college football. It would be a storybook ending for the AFC playoffs for the Bills...