Because it could not be clearly determined which AFC team was the best in the past regular season, the NFL needed a solution. This is now fixed, as the league announced on Thursday.
Home of the Atlanta Falcons: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
IMAGO/USA TODAY Network
While the once again strong Kansas City Chiefs around star quarterback Patrick Mahomes had entered the NFL play-offs with a record of 14:3 wins, the Buffalo Bills finished 13:3 – that is with one game less.
The reason should be known to many football fans: In week 17, the game between the Cincinnati Bengals (12: 4) and Bills was interrupted and finally stopped in the first quarter because Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiovascular arrest had suffered. The league then announced that the game would no longer be recorded.
Buffalo has to play this weekend, Kansas City doesn’t
And while the player, who was initially in critical condition for days, made more and more progress and was finally released from the hospital yesterday, Wednesday, the National Football League was looking for a solution to this problem. After all, the number 1 team in a conference always has complete home advantage in the finals and initially has a week off during the upcoming Wild Card Round. What the Chiefs are on paper.
12 January 202301:12:52 hours
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And because that is currently the case, the Bills have to pass the underdogs on Sunday (7:05 p.m. CET) against the Miami Dolphins, who will be competing without their star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Meanwhile, Kansas City can watch this and the other games in peace.
Incidentally, the NFL justified the decision to finally cancel the game with three important factors. For one thing, the result would not have affected which teams in the AFC (American Football Conference) qualify for the playoffs. Also, playing the game would have changed the schedule in the finals for the remaining teams – and not playing allows all teams to know before the start of their recent Week 18.
What had to be clarified, however, was the case if the Chiefs won their home game in the next week’s divisional round and the Bills won their two games in wild card and also divisional round. Then, according to the current rules, Kansas City would have home advantage, although Buffalo would have been No. 1 in the AFC with the missing game and a potential win.
Therefore, the NFL wanted to cover this case by allowing this potential AFC playoff to reach the 57th Super Bowl on neutral ground. And after days of searching, the league now presented Atlanta as a location. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium there, home of the eliminated Falcons (7:10) from the NFC South, would allow this duel to take place.
This game would go up on Sunday 29 January at 18.30 (CET).
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