It's looking more and more likely that the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills will not complete the game abandoned after Damar Hamlin's scary injury. This is creating all sorts of logistical issues for the NFL because there will be dramatic playoff implications no matter what they decide to do. That they have yet to decide to do about 53 hours before Week 18 begins shows just how fluid the situation remains.
Mike Florio has blogged the only fair solution. More teams in the playoffs.
The question then becomes seeding the AFC playoffs without Bills-Bengals. Winning percentage becomes the most obvious method. But there are concerns about equity, given that the winner of the Bills-Bengals game would have been in position to be one of the top seed AFC seeds.
One possibility would be to add an eighth team to the playoff field in the AFC. This would eliminate the bye for the No. 1 seed.
To ensure competitive balance, there would have to be eight teams in the NFC, too.
The NFL Players Association would have to agree to a temporary expansion of the playoff field.
And look, if you've visited this website before you probably think I only agree with this because it would make the Detroit Lions-Green Bay Packers game on Sunday night a win-and-in situation and take a Los Angeles Rams upset of the Seattle Seahawks completely off the table. But you'd be wrong. In fact, such an accusation is hurtful.
On the contrary, I am simply very concerned with fairness. Florio's idea takes a potential negative and turns it into a positive with more teams and fanbases benefitting. Sure, the NFL could be accused of making things up as they go but they are very much making things up as they go along in an unprecedented situation.
Let's make this happen without thinking about it too much more and move on. Again, just and pure and unselfish thought.