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What's The Impact Of A Canceled Game?

Razors Edge

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...vs a "tie" or "complete as of the stop of play"?

The decision now to cancel the game altogether prompted the league to make several other changes to deal with the imbalance the decision creates. The Bills and Bengals will now finish the regular season having contested 16 games while all of the other teams will have played 17. This marks the NFL’s first canceled regular season game since the 1987 players’ strike.

The league had previously said that the game wouldn’t be restarted “this week.” 

That left the door open to try to resume it another time. One option could have been playing it a week after the conclusion of the regular season and pushing the playoffs back a week. The NFL has some built-in wiggle room in its calendar, with an extra week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.

Instead, the league decided to keep the playoffs on schedule and cancel the game entirely. That has significant playoff implications given that the Bills and Bengals happen to be two of the best teams in football. 

With a 12-3 record, Buffalo entered Monday’s game against Cincinnati needing two wins to guarantee the No. 1 seed and the playoff bye that comes with it. The Kansas City Chiefs who are now 13-3 after winning Sunday, were neck-and-neck with the Bills in the standings going into last weekend. The Bengals, at 11-4, also had a shot if they beat Buffalo. 

But the removal of the Bills-Bengals game upends that dynamic and the subsequent seeding. If the Chiefs now win on Sunday, they’ll have the higher winning percentage and therefore get the top spot no matter what happens in the Bills’ final game against New England. The move also eliminates Cincinnati’s shot at the top seed, although it actually secures the AFC North crown for the team. 

To address the inequity the decision imposes, the NFL also paved the way to tweak its format by possibly playing the AFC Championship game at a neutral site if it involves the two teams. 

Commissioner Roger Goodell recommended a proposal, which was approved by the NFL’s competition committee, which says that the game will be played at a neutral site if the participating teams played an uneven number of games—and both teams could have been the No. 1 seed and therefore hosted the game had the full 17-game regular season been played. 

If the Bills and Chiefs both win this weekend, then, the game would be at a neutral site. The decision still has to be approved by NFL owners on Friday. 

Additionally, if the Baltimore Ravens defeat the Bengals this weekend, and they are scheduled to play in the wild-card round, the site for that game would be determined by a coin toss. 

But the decision to cancel the game doesn’t eliminate drama from the action this weekend. 

The Bills could still get the No. 1 seed if the Chiefs stumble against the Raiders. And Buffalo will play the Patriots—who are fighting to make the playoffs.

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7 minutes ago, JerrySTL said:

On a lower level, friends of mine were at the Bengals-Bills game. Do they get their money back?

I had plenty of friends there.  I wonder how it works.  I can ask one of them.  I know that life/loss of life is far more important but I don't feel like it is out of line to ask questions like this.  Especially now that he seems to be doing better.  


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8 minutes ago, JerrySTL said:

On a lower level, friends of mine were at the Bengals-Bills game. Do they get their money back?

Maybe Damar can use the funds in his gofundme charity account to repay the fans?  What about fans that bought tickets on the open market instead of from the team.  I have a feeling most people are just SOL.

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48 minutes ago, JerrySTL said:

On a lower level, friends of mine were at the Bengals-Bills game. Do they get their money back?

My buddy just got his ticket refunded today.  He got a choice between a refund or a 120% stub hub credit. 

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