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Bengals to win AFC North after MNF cancellation

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 02: Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow 9 passes the ball during the game against the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire NFL, American Football Herren, USA JAN 02 Bills at Bengals Icon230102022
IMAGO / Icon Sportswire

The Cincinnati Bengals will be officially recognized as the AFC North champions, regardless of the outcome of their game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, according to a source.

This news comes after the NFL officially canceled the game between the Bengals and the Buffalo Bills.

The contest was originally suspended on Monday night after Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the field.

As division winners, the Bengals will have a more challenging schedule next season and may potentially have a later draft pick.

However, they will not necessarily have the benefits of being champions in the playoffs, such as home-field advantage in a wild-card game.

The NFL’s competition committee has approved a proposal for the playoffs stating that if the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals are scheduled to play each other in the wild-card round, the site for the game would be determined by a coin toss.

This proposal will be voted on by all 32 NFL owners on Friday and needs at least 24 votes to pass.

The Bengals would have secured the AFC North title with a win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday, but the game was canceled.

As a result, the Bengals will have a higher winning percentage than the Ravens, even if Baltimore wins their Week 18 matchup, as both teams have already secured a playoff berth.

Bengals 11-4 .733
Ravens 10-6 .625

The Bengals and Ravens are currently the No. 3 and No. 6 seeds in the AFC, respectively.

The Baltimore Ravens have a chance to secure the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs with a win against the Cincinnati Bengals and a loss by the Los Angeles Chargers against the Denver Broncos.

The NFL’s competition committee has also approved a proposal that will be voted on by owners on Friday and could potentially affect the AFC Championship Game.

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