Not that teams need a lot of extra motivation in the playoffs but the Cincinnati Bengals just got an extra boost. The NFL announced today they’ll begin selling tickets to a potential neutral site AFC Championship game between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs should those two teams meet next weekend.
A matchup between those two teams would occur at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, a neutral site to try to create competitive balance after the Bills failed to play a full 17-game season, their Week 17 game canceled after safety Damar Hamlin collapsed.
The NFL is doing this for logistical reasons to limit the mad rush of tickets if the Bills and Chiefs each win this week and to allow their season ticket holders to have the first crack at buying them as opposed to competing with the general public. Still, this is classic bulletin board material for the Bengals to see the league already planning for Buffalo and Kansas City to take care of business this week.
The Bengals are coming off a 24-17 Wild Card win over the Baltimore Ravens, a 98-yard fumble recovery touchdown by Sam Hubbard being the critical play in the game. The Bills nudged out a 34-31 win over the Miami Dolphins, hanging on in the final minutes to win despite Josh Allen’s three turnovers.
Buffalo and Cincinnati will play this weekend after their Week 17 game was canceled. This time, the contest will take place in Buffalo. It should be the game of the weekend with a dozen different storylines. The Chiefs enter the Divisional round favored against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who came back from being down 27-0 to beat the Los Angeles Chargers over the weekend.
Over in the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants will meet for a third time this season in a playoff rivalry game while the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys will square off on Sunday evening.
You can read the NFL’s full statement below. The league notes if a Bills/Chiefs neutral site game does not take place, all presale purchases will be refunded.