The NFL is moving toward resolving the issue stemming from postponing the Week 17 game between the Bills and Bengals.
Current momentum points to not restarting the Bills-Bengals game and declaring the contest a no-go. Playoff seeding will be determined based on the results of the Week 18 games.
That means the Chiefs will beat the Raiders on Saturday to clinch the No. 1 seed. If the Chiefs lose on Saturday, the Bills will beat the Patriots on Sunday and take the top spot.
A Bills loss over the Ravens and a Bengals win on Sunday could put Cincinnati at No. 2, with the Bengals defending the Bills on the strength of a win tiebreaker. That would set up a possible Bills-Bengals game in Cincinnati in the divisional round.
There is currently no talk of the eventual Bills-Chiefs AFC Championship being played at neutral ground, even though the Bills have clinched the No. 1 seed with wins over Cincinnati and New England.
A Bills-Bengals upset would also clinch the AFC North for Cincinnati. Had the Bengals lost to the Bills, the winner of Sunday’s Ravens-Bengals game would have won the AFC North.
If the Chiefs lose to the Raiders on Saturday, the Bengals could take over the top spot by beating the Bills this weekend.
The idea of using winning percentages to determine playoff positioning was first entertained during the pandemic year of 2020, when the league raised the possibility of many regular-season games being canceled. In the end, no one.
If this is the solution the league chooses, it’s not ideal. But it’s better among fewer options than a variety of better options. It’s not finalized yet, but it points in that direction.