One NFL Team is Very Unhappy With the New AFC Playoff Scenario
The NFL has been working all week, trying to come up with a plan for the AFC playoffs.
This comes after the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals game was postponed and then cancelled, after Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after a tackle on Monday Night Football.
Hamlin's recovery has been remarkable, as he now is breathing on his own and the signs are pointing to him eventually being discharged from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Doctors on Thursday said that he is neurologically intact, which was huge news for his family and teammates.
But the AFC playoff picture is much more complicated with the Bills and Bengals playing one less game.
After the NFL announced the Bills-Bengals game would not resume, they put out new playoff scenarios to try and mitigate the best they can, the competitive disadvantages and unfair seeding for the AFC.
The plan was approved by the competition committee and was officially a go from the NFL owners.
Basically, if the Chiefs win on Saturday, they will be the 1 seed in the AFC, regardless of what the Bills do against the Patriots. However, if the Bills win and Chiefs both win in week 18 (or they both lose), the AFC Championship game would be a neutral site if the Chiefs and Bills made that game.
The NFL wanted to make sure week 18 was incentivized for every team. The problem with going by winning percentages and giving the Chiefs the 1 seed with the bye and homefield advantage, is that the Bills would've had the right to rest starters with the 1 seed out of the equation...that means the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers would not be happy, since they need the Bills to beat the Patriots.
It's not perfect but it's clear the league wanted to address the unfair aspects.
However, the Cincinnati Bengals are not hiding the fact they are unhappy.
Ian Rapoport says the Bengals will vote against this new playoff format/scenario and the main reason they're angry is that if the Ravens beat them on Sunday, a coin-flip decides the Wild Card home field, even though the Bengals would be considered the AFC North champs.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor is also not pleased.
I agree with the Bengals that a coin toss to determine the AFC North if they lose is preposterous. Go to any record tiebreaker before deciding on that.
The Bengals were a game behind the Bills and a game and a half behind the Chiefs before Monday night. Unfortunately, they are the team who suffers the most here.