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Report: Bengals Attempting To Reject NFL’s Proposed Playoff Changes

The NFL postseason uncertainty isn’t over yet. After the league proposed its playoff format tweaks, passed by the competition committee and now to be voted on by the owners, the Cincinnati Bengals are trying to shoot it down.

According to CBS’ Jonathan Jones, the Bengals are trying to drum up enough votes to prevent the proposal from passing.

Here’s what Jones writes:

“NFL owners are meeting at noon ET Friday to vote on the proposed postseason changes that would involve a neutral site AFC Championship Game in some scenarios, along with the possibility of a coin flip deciding the location of a potential Bengals-Ravens wild-card round game.

The latter point is what the Bengals take greatest issue with, according to sources. The league officially canceled the Bills-Bengals game and ruled it a no-contest. The league has already crowned the Bengals as AFC North champions regardless of the outcome of their Week 18 matchup against the Ravens.”

The Bengals are one of the teams impacted by the league’s proposed changes that would see a coin flip to determine the home team for a potential Bengals/Ravens playoff game if the Bengals are the three seed and the Ravens the six seed.

Yesterday, the NFL announced they would cancel the Bills/Bengals game and crown the Bengals AFC North champions. In Cincinnati’s mind, as division winners, they should not have to potentially play on the road against the Ravens, who will finish second in the AFC North. It’s a fair complaint but given the historic nature of the situation, the first NFL game canceled in nearly 90 years, there was never going to be perfect fairness.

The league is also proposing a potential neutrally played AFC Championship game if the Bills and Chiefs or Bengals and Chiefs meet in the AFC Title game under certain circumstances.

An emergency owners meeting is being held today. According to Jones, the vote is taking place at noon. Presumably, it needs two-thirds votes to pass, 24 out of 32, so the Bengals will have to find eight other teams to vote “no” in order to shoot the notion down. If they’re successful, there’s no telling what the league will do next. Still, the odds of the Bengals convincing enough teams seem pretty low and this may all be a moot point by Friday afternoon.

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