The Bengals are reportedly “livid” that a coin toss could give the Ravens home-field advantage if they meet in the playoffs.
The NFL had to deal with unprecedented circumstances in calling off Monday night’s game between the Bills and the Bengals following the collapse of safety Damar Hamlin.
With no perfect solution to all the complicated playoff scenarios, the league decided to take home field advantage out of the equation for teams whose place in the standings might be impacted by the cancelation.
For the Bills, Chiefs and Bengals, that could mean a neutral site AFC Championship Game. But the Bengals could be impacted in another way: A coin toss could determine home-field advantage for their wild-card round game.
The Bengals are not happy about that one.
Bengals frustrated over NFL playoffs coin flip scenario
“Many in the Cincinnati organization are livid about a decision they feel penalizes the Bengals and rewards the Ravens,” Adam Schefter of ESPN reported, citing sources.
The Bengals are apparently frustrated because the NFL changed the rules governing cancelations on the fly instead of just defaulting to win percentage. Moreover, a win on Monday could have allowed them to rest players with the AFC North locked up.
Cincinnati was declared the winner of the AFC North after the cancelation because regardless of the result of Sunday’s game, they will have a better winning percentage than the Ravens.
However, they can’t afford to rest players now because a loss could open the door for the coin flip scenario. A win for the Ravens at the Bengals along with a win for the Chargers at the Broncos would set up a wild-card matchup between No. 3 seed Cincinnati and No. 6 seed Baltimore. That would trigger the coin toss.
Cincinnati’s frustration is understandable. If the coin-flip scenario happens, they could be the first NFL team to win their division and go on the road for a wild-card game.
At the same time, they can’t just look at scenarios from the hypothetical of if they had won the game against the Bills. If they had lost, the Ravens could have won the AFC North with a win on Sunday.
Both sides of this equation can feel hard done. The best solution for Cincinnati? Beat the Lamar Jackson-less Ravens and don’t let it come to that.