The NFL decided that if the Baltimore Ravens beat the Bengals this weekend, then Cincinnati will still win the AFC North. But if the two teams then play in the first round of the playoffs, a coin flip will decide who hosts the game, instead of winning percentage (Cincy has clinched a higher winning percentage).
Existing NFL rules state that in the event of a canceled game, the team with the higher winning percentage is the higher seed and gets to host the game.
Will Jacksonville put up 22.5 or more against Tennessee during Week 18?
Taylor isn’t happy about the change. He just wants the established rules to be followed.
“It’s black and white, it’s in the rule book,” said Taylor on Friday.
Zac Taylor on the playoff scenarios: What’s in front of us is to win this weekend. From what I’m concerned, we just want the rules to be followed.
Bengals not happy NFL changing the rules and not going by winning percentage.
“It’s black and white, it’s in the rule book.”
— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) January 6, 2023
This is certainly a tough situation for the NFL. They made the right decision to postpone the game on Monday night. Not resuming the game is also the right call, which leaves this undesirable situation where not every team has played the same amount of games.
Taylor, however, is right. You can’t just change rules in the middle of the season. The rules are there for a reason. Changing them during the season sets a dangerous precedent that could greatly impact future changes.
If the Bengals beat the Ravens, none of this will matter in the first round of the playoffs. But it’s still a questionable move by the NFL.