The Bengals beaten the NFL’s hopes of a fair-place AFC Championship Sport in Atlanta

Officially, the NFL is no longer taking part in favorites. Nonetheless, the likelihood of net hosting a conference championship sport at a fair situation must hang been shapely to the league office.

Alas, it became no longer meant to be. The Buffalo Payments losing 27-10 to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday eradicated the likelihood of the AFC Championship Sport being played in Atlanta.

The thought of though-provoking that sport to Georgia became assign in plod in the aftermath of the Week 17 usual-season matchup between the Payments and Bengals. That sport became, surely, suspended in the first quarter following the in-sport medical emergency skilled by Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin.

Resuming the game that late in the season is no longer an likelihood, and it became at final known as off. That created a enviornment for the NFL heading into the playoffs, although: Whereas 30 of the league’s 32 teams would enact the usual season with 17 video games, the Payments and Bengals — two of basically the most easy teams in the AFC — would simplest hang played 16.

Add the truth that Buffalo owned the high-to-head tiebreaker over the choice candidate for the No. 1 seed, the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, and the league had to settle one thing out. The answer became to depend the video games that had been in truth played, but stagger a doable Chiefs-Payments AFC title sport to a fair situation must peaceful it happen.

Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium became chosen as that situation, and fans of both teams had been quick to carry tickets — one thing the NFL fortunately announced in the week leading as a lot as the Divisional Round of the playoffs:

With the likelihood of a fair place AFC Championship Sport at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta between the Buffalo Payments and Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, both golf equipment gave Season Designate Participants who previously opted-in to carry AFC Championship Sport tickets in Buffalo or Kansas Metropolis precedence entry to carry tickets at a most well-preferred rate.

Bigger than 50,000 tickets had been bought by the golf equipment’ Season Designate Participants in the first 24 hours of the announcement. The ticketing thought allows Payments fans to be seated on their aspect of the realm and Chiefs on the choice.

Remember that, none of that mattered if the Chiefs and/or Payments didn’t in actuality reach to that sport. Every other pairing for the AFC title sport would residence off the same outdated guidelines, which implies that the game would no longer be played in a fair situation but fairly the house stadium of the easier-seeded membership.

That is precisely what took plight. Whereas the Chiefs did their job in opposition to Jacksonville on Saturday, the Payments didn’t inform swimsuit tomorrow to come. In consequence, the AFC Championship on Jan. 29 will happen at Kansas Metropolis’s Arrowhead Stadium.

Naturally, no longer everyone became unhappy to notice the NFL’s dreams of a fair-place sport reach to an cease — in particular in Cincinnati.

Contained in the league office, on the choice hand, the notion would possibly well per chance per chance per chance be a determined one. As well-known by Pro Soccer Talk in the week leading as a lot as the Divisional Round, finally, the “interest in fair-place title video games has turn out to be very unswerving” interior the NFL.

The NFL envies the ambiance of predominant college bowl video games, where a 50/50 combination of fans are decked out in crew colours. It’s one snort about college football that skilled football does no longer exclusively replicate …

[T]he league’s likelihood to tout the designate sales turns into the root for the NFL to sell the likelihood to house owners and fans (many of whom aren’t infected by a fair-place conference championship sport) as innovative and ground-breaking and your next step in rising the game, by taking two more of its most important events to diversified cites and stadiums, each yr.

If the NFL in truth needs to introduce fair-place championship video games sooner or later, this would possibly well per chance per chance safe so. Public notion has in no plot in truth mattered to the league and its house owners as lengthy because it does no longer negatively impression the backside line; chances are high that introducing a brand contemporary playoff structure with two more such video games would moreover no longer safe that.

No longer lower than this yr, on the choice hand, the NFL will no longer safe to experiment with an altered layout. The Bengals beating the Payments nefarious these plans.

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