NFL: Owners Approve Changes To AFC Playoffs, Could Mean Neutral Game Site

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Following the cancelation of the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, the National Football League has come out with some new changes to the American Football Conference (AFC) playoffs. On Friday, the NFL said those proposed adjustments were accepted by team owners during a meeting earlier in the day.

Buckle up, these new rules can be a lot to take in at once.

The AFC Championship Game will be played at a neutral site that will be determined by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell if a team played in less than 17 games but could have been the number one seed. Under that distinction, the Bengals, Bills, and Kansas City Chiefs all could have a claim, but only the outcome of this weekend will determine that.

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The Bengals host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and though they have two less losses than the Ravens, they'll have played in one less game. In other words, if the Ravens beat the Bengals and the two teams meet in the first round of the playoffs (meaning the Los Angeles Charger won their game against the Denver Broncos), the home field will be decided by a coin flip.

"We believe this is a focused approach that will only affect four teams, and directly address the potential for competitive inequity resulting from 30 teams playing 17 games and two playing 16 games. It was critical for the owners to vote today so that clubs know going into this weekend what they're playing for," Goodell said in a conference on Friday.

Monday's game between the Bengals and Bills was canceled after the Bills' Damar Hamlin took a hit and collapsed on the field, going into cardiac arrest. Hamlin has reportedly been treated at a Cincinnati hospital and as of Friday, has made remarkable improvements in his recovery, according to the Bills.

The Bills are scheduled to play against the New England Patriots on Sunday in Buffalo.

WBZ's Brain Antonelli (@GuPogs) reports.

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