In light of an unprecedented situation, NFL owners will vote on whether or not to enact certain playoff scenarios to account for the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills finishing the season with 16 games played.
Unfortunately, some of these scenarios involve the Bengals, who’ve been declared AFC North Champions, playing their first playoff game on the road.
Bengals Executive Vice President Katie Blackburn is not about that.
Upon the conclusion of Thursday’s competition committee meeting that proposed the scenarios, Blackburn wrote a memo expressing her concern of changing NFL rules so soon before the start of the postseason.
“The proper process for making rule change (sic) is in the off-season,” Blackburn wrote in a memo obtained by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham. “It is not appropriate to put teams in a position to vote for something that may introduce bias, favor one team over another or impact their own situation when the vote takes place immediately before the playoffs.”
Essentially, what’s already established in the NFL rules is in the event of canceled games, winning percentage determines seeding. Bengals running back Joe Mixon even posted the section of the rule book to Twitter Thursday night. If the Bengals are indeed division champions, which also entails a first-place schedule for next season, then home field advantage is their’s by right for at least one round of the playoffs because that’s what traditional seeding rules entail.
Per CBS Sports insider Johnathan Jones, the Bengals are in the process of convincing other clubs to side with them before today’s meeting between all 32 owners commences. 24 votes of approval will enact the proposed scenarios. If the Bengals conjure up eight allies, then they will have succeeded.