On the first “Monday night football” of 2023, the Cincinnati Bengals took on the Buffalo Bills at home in Paycor Stadium. However, the game was called off due to the cardiac arrest of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin during the game. Hamlin was transported to a local hospital and is currently recovering.
Following the cancellation of the Bengals’ game, the NFL authorized significant changes to its playoff regulations on Friday which includes a neutral venue game in the AFC championship. On the other hand, a probable coin flip method can be used to determine who hosts a wild-card game between the Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens.
While the cancelation of the game was understandable given the circumstances, the fact that there’s a possibility of a “coin-flip” incident to occur to resolve the game has left the Bengals and head coach Zac Taylor unhappy. The Bengals will face the ravens on Sunday to finish their regular season and If the Ravens win, the league will decide who will host the playoff game by flipping a coin. Instead of using winning percentages in the case of canceled games, which is done traditionally in such cases.
“As far as I’m concerned, we just want the rules to be followed,” Taylor expressed his thoughts. “When a game is canceled, you just turn to winning percentage to clarify everything so we don’t have to make up rules. There’s several instances this season when a club is fined or people in our building are fined and we’re being told, ‘Follow the rules. It’s black and white. It’s in the rulebook.’ So now when we point out the rules and you’re told, we’re going to change that, I don’t want to hear about fair and equitable when that’s the case.”
What’s in fate for the Bengals?
The NFL has faced criticism in the past for its handling of canceled games, with some arguing that a rematch or other alternative solution should be considered in these situations. It remains to be seen if the league will address this issue in the future, but for now, the Bengals and their fans might have to accept the outcome of the coin flip if they fail to win against the Ravens. So, easy to say Bengals’ biggest priority will be to win against the Ravens on Sunday at any cost.