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Resolution to Amend AFC Playoffs Approved by Owners

Bengals coach Zac Taylor speaks on Wednesday. Syndication The Enquirer

In a special league meeting on Friday, NFL owners approved proposed changes to the AFC playoffs, including a potential neutral-site AFC Championship Game, NFL Media reported on Friday.

The changes include:

>> For the 2022 season only, the AFC Championship Game will be played at a neutral site to be determined by Commissioner Roger Goodell if the participating teams played a different number of games in the regular season. This ruling also gets implemented in the event that the lower-seeded team in the title game could have been the number one seed had all 17 regular season games been played.

>> Unless both participants in the AFC Championship Game could have been the number one seed in the AFC and host the championship game had they played 17 regular season games, the game shall be hosted by the higher seeded team.

On Thursday, the NFL officially canceled last Monday night’s game between Buffalo and Cincinnati, which originally was postponed after Bills safety Damar Hamlin was critically injured. That left two of the AFC’s top postseason teams with one fewer game played compared to the rest of the conference teams.

Week 18 is expected to continue as scheduled. The Bills and the Bengals have confirmed their teams will participate in their Week 18 matchups Sunday. The cancelation made the Bengals AFC North champions regardless of the outcome of the game against the Ravens, who have six losses.

The Bills, who practiced for the first time this week on Thursday, will play their next game against the Patriots on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Bengals will play the Ravens at the same time. The Chiefs play at Las Vegas on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Here is what’s at stake this weekend:

>> If the Chiefs lose and the Bills win, Buffalo will be the AFC’s top seed and potentially would host the AFC Championship Game.

>> If the Chiefs win and the Bills lose, Kansas City will be the top seed and potentially the host of the AFC Championship Game.

>> If the Chiefs and Bills both win and were to meet in the AFC Championship Game, it would be played at a neutral site, per the NFL’s proposal.