The Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game will not be resumed and has been canceled, the league announced on Thursday.
The game was postponed after Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on Monday night. Ultimately, according to the Bills, Hamlin’s heartbeat was restored on the field. He was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. According to the Bills, Hamlin remains in the ICU in critical condition and continues to show signs of improvement.
According to the statement from the league, here are the key factors that went into the decision to cancel the game.
-Not playing the Buffalo-Cincinnati game to its conclusion will have no effect on which clubs qualify for the postseason. No club would qualify for the postseason and no club will be eliminated based on the outcome of this game.
-It would require postponing the start of the playoffs for one week, thereby affecting all 14 clubs that qualify for postseason play.
-Making the decision prior to Week 18 is consistent with our competitive principles and enables all clubs to know the playoff possibilities prior to playing the final weekend of regular season games.
Because cancelling the game between the Bills and Bengals creates potential competitive inequities in certain playoff scenarios, the NFL added the following provisions regarding the AFC title game:
The AFC Championship Game will be played at a neutral site if the participating teams played an unequal number of games and both could have been the number one seed and hosted the game had all AFC clubs played a full 17-game regular season. Those circumstances involve Buffalo or Cincinnati qualifying for the game as a road team and are listed below:
Buffalo and Kansas City both win or both tie – a Buffalo vs Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Baltimore wins or ties – a Buffalo vs Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Cincinnati wins – a Buffalo or Cincinnati vs Kansas City championship game would be at a neutral site.
Regarding the Ravens/Bengals this Sunday:
If Baltimore defeats Cincinnati in Week 18 it will have defeated Cincinnati, a divisional opponent, twice but will not be able to host a playoff game because Cincinnati will have a higher winning percentage for a 16-game schedule than Baltimore will for a 17-game schedule.
If Baltimore defeats Cincinnati and if those two clubs are schedule to play a Wild Card game against one another, the site for that game would be determined by a coin toss. If Cincinnati wins the Week 18 game or if Baltimore and Cincinnati are not scheduled to play one another in the Wild Card round, the game sites would be determined by the regular scheduling procedures.
Things are starting to heat in the NFL, and as we get closer to the end of the season, more teams are beginning to clinch playoff spots.
The Chiefs(AFC West) and Bills have clinched in the AFC, and in the NFC, the Eagles, Vikings(NFC North), 49ers(NFC West), and Cowboys are all in.
Below are the playoff scenarios for Week 16 in the NFL:
Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division title
Buffalo Bills – playoff berth
BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-5)
Week 16 – vs. Atlanta (5-9), Saturday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX
Week 17 – vs. Pittsburgh (6-8)
Week 18 – at Cincinnati (10-4)
Baltimore clinches playoff berth with:
BAL win + MIA loss or tie + NE loss or tie OR
BAL win + MIA loss or tie + NYJ loss or tie OR
BAL win + NE loss or tie + NYJ loss or tie OR
BAL tie + NE loss + NYJ loss OR
BAL tie + NE loss + MIA loss + LAC win OR
BAL tie + NE loss + MIA loss + NYJ tie OR
BAL tie + NE loss + NYJ tie + LAC win OR
BAL tie + NE tie + NYJ loss + MIA loss OR
BAL tie + NE tie + NYJ tie + MIA loss + LAC win OR
NE loss + NYJ loss + CLE loss or tie + LV loss or tie + TEN loss or tie + LAC win\
BUFFALO BILLS (11-3)
Week 16 – at Chicago (3-11), Saturday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS
Week 17 – at Cincinnati (10-4)
Week 18 – vs. New England (7-7)
Buffalo clinches AFC East division title with:
BUF win or tie
MIA loss or tie
CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-4)
Week 16 – at New England (7-7), Saturday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS
Week 17 – vs. Buffalo (11-3)
Week 18 – vs. Baltimore (9-5)
Cincinnati clinches playoff berth with:
CIN win or tie
NYJ loss or tie
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (8-6)
Week 16 – at Indianapolis (4-9-1), Monday, 8:15 PM ET, ESPN
Week 17 – vs. L.A. Rams (4-10)
Week 18 – at Denver (4-10)
L.A. Chargers clinch playoff berth with:
LAC win + LV loss or tie + NE loss + NYJ loss OR
LAC win + LV loss or tie + NE loss + NYJ tie + MIA loss OR
LAC win + LV loss or tie + NE tie + NYJ loss + MIA loss
Minnesota Vikings – NFC North division title
San Francisco 49ers – NFC West division title
Dallas Cowboys – playoff berth
Philadelphia Eagles – playoff berth
NEW YORK GIANTS (8-5-1)
Week 16 – at Minnesota (11-3), Saturday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX
Week 17 – vs. Indianapolis (4-9-1)
Week 18 – at Philadelphia (13-1)
N.Y. Giants clinch playoff berth with:
NYG win + WAS loss + DET loss
NYG win + WAS loss + SEA loss OR
NYG win + DET loss + SEA loss
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (13-1)
Week 16 – at Dallas (10-4), Saturday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX
Week 17 – vs. New Orleans (5-9)
Week 18 – vs. N.Y. Giants (8-5-1)
Philadelphia clinches NFC East division title with:
PHI win or tie
Philadelphia clinches homefield advantage and NFC’s lone first-round bye with:
PHI tie + MIN loss or tie
New York Jets coach Robert Saleh made it official today when he announced that Joe Flacco will start at quarterback against his former team, the Baltimore Ravens, on Sunday in the season-opener at MetLife Stadium.
According to Saleh, second-year quarterback Zach Wilson(knee) will likely return at the earliest in Week 4 against the Steelers.
The 37-year-old Flacco is grateful for the opportunity to be a starter in the NFL.
“Yeah, I mean, I’ve talked about it a lot. It should be an exciting one,” Flacco said. “Listen, anytime you get a chance to lace them up on Sunday and try to put yourself and the team in the best situation you can; it’s a lot of fun; grateful for the opportunity, but yeah, obviously, there’s going to be some different emotions that I haven’t experienced before with this one…
“I think at the end of the day, it is like every other game once the dust settles and the game gets going. It’s a football game. You’re lining up, and you’re playing against the guy across from you. So, I’ve played it enough to know that at some point, that’s going to be the time; maybe the first snap or two will be even extra kind of crazy feelings that go into it, but after that, I’ve been a part of a bunch of playoff games and all those things, and it’s a football game at the end of the day. It’s just a matter of when it settles in and when you can let your mind calm down a little bit.
The 15-year veteran spent 11 seasons in Baltimore and won a Super Bowl with the Ravens. He last played for the Ravens in 2018, where he would eventually lose his job after injury to current Ravens starter Lamar Jackson, but despite losing his job due to injury, Flacco had no ill will towards Baltimore.
“It’s part of the business, and obviously, your competitive nature has certain feelings about it, but a lot of those things are out of my control to a certain extent,” he said. “Like I said, what I’ve been trying to do ever since then is kind of just keep my head down and work and get better at football and look for the best opportunity.”
This will be Flacco’s last chance to prove that he can still be a starter in the NFL, and fortunately for him, he’ll have at least three weeks to show the Jets he’s still that guy. If he has success, those three games could be even longer.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed running back Le’Veon Bell, the team announced Wednesday.
Bell was signed after Leonard Fournette, who may go on IR, injured his hamstring Sunday night against the Saints.
The three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection, comes to Tampa Bay after playing in five games with the Baltimore Ravens this season.
“He’s been a good receiver in the past and played in this offense in Pittsburgh for a while,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said. “We’ll see what he can learn and what he can give us in the next few weeks.”
Over 93 career regular season games, including 81 starts, the 29-year-old Bell has amassed 1,587 carries for 6,536 yards and 42 rushing touchdowns. He has played an integral role in the passing game, as well, making 395 receptions for 3,258 yards and eight touchdowns.
Since entering the league in 2013, Bell ranks fourth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (9,794) and first among running backs. His 504 first downs since 2013 rank third among all position players and first among running backs, while his 50 scrimmage touchdowns are tied for 10th among all players at his position. Bell has notched three 1,000-yard rushing seasons and three seasons with 1,500-or-more yards from scrimmage.
In the postseason, Bell has played in five games, recording 83 carries for 430 yards (5.2 avg.) and three touchdowns, in addition to 13 receptions for 91 yards receiving and one touchdown.
Quarterback Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, defensive end Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns and kicker Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 3 (September 23, 26-27).
OFFENSE: QB JOSH ALLEN, BUFFALO BILLS
Allen completed 32 of 43 pass attempts (74.4 percent) for 358 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions for a 129.8 rating and added a rushing touchdown in Buffalo’s 43-21 victory over Washington.
This is the seventh-career Offensive Player of the Week award for Allen:
2018: Week 17
2019: Week 11
2020: Weeks 2, 9, 13, 15
2021: Week 3
Allen trails only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly (10-time winner) for the most Offensive Player of the Week awards by a Buffalo quarterback.
He joins Patrick Mahomes and Derrick Henry as the only players to win a Player of the Week in each of the past four seasons (2018-21).
DEFENSE: DE MYLES GARRETT, CLEVELAND BROWNS
Garrett recorded seven tackles and a franchise-record 4.5 sacks in Cleveland’s 26-6 win over Chicago.
This marks the second Defensive Player of the Week award for Garrett (Week 4, 2020).
He becomes the first Brown to win multiple Defensive Player of the Week awards since defensive end Courtney Brown (Week 5, 2003 and Week 3, 2000).
SPECIAL TEAMS: K JUSTIN TUCKER, BALTIMORE RAVENS
Tucker converted four of five field goals, including an NFL-record 66-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Detroit, 19-17.
This is the 12th-career Special Teams Player of the Week award for Tucker:
2013: Week 10, 12, 15
2014: Week 3
2015: Week 4, 8
2016: Week 12
2018: Weeks 3, 17
2019: Weeks 5, 6
2021: Week 3
He is now tied with Jason Hanson (12) and Matt Prater (12) for the third-most all-time by a kicker. Only Adam Vinatieri (19) and John Carney (13) have earned the honor more.
The Washington Football Team handled the last preseason game like the last preseason game. Head coach Ron Rivera sat all of the starters on Saturday at FedExField, and ultimately, Washington would fall to the Ravens 37-3.
“Not to get anybody hurt,” Rivera said about why he rested his starters. “It was something we decided on a few days ago. We didn’t want to get anybody hurt. We had a big camp, it’s been successful, and a lot of guys worked. A lot of people we feel really comfortable and confident in who they are for us. We just felt exposing is not the thing to do, so we didn’t expose them.”
Conversely, Baltimore played many of its starters, but not for long, including quarterback Lamar Jackson, who saw his first preseason action on Saturday and played one series.
According to Jackson, he was happy to be out there against Washington.
“Yeah, just to get my feet wet for the regular season,” Jackson said. “I’ve got to feel that contact, that real contact because you know guys in practice aren’t hitting me or anything like that. It was great to get my feet wet.”
For Baltimore, the concern is running back J.K Dobbins, who left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury. According to Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, Dobbins will undergo testing on Sunday.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the expectation is that Dobbins had suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Jackson hopes everything will be okay with Dobbins, but he has confidence in the other backs on the team.
“Hopefully, we don’t miss him. He’s a tremendous back,” Jackson said. “We have Gus [Edwards], and we’ve got Ty [Ty’son Williams], but hopefully, he’s good.”
Baltimore got a big-time performance from third-string quarterback Tyler Huntley, who threw for 285 yards and four touchdowns against Washington.
With the win against Washington, Baltimore won an NFL record 20th straight preseason game. The last time Baltimore lost a preseason game was in 2015.
“I just think it’s really cool for the guys,” Harbaugh said about winning 20 straight preseason games. “I’ll tell you this; there’s a lot of guys watching on TV with their kids, telling their kids about that accomplishment and the fact that they were a part of that. That’s the most meaningful thing. I think there are other aspects of it, but to me, that’s the thing that means the most.”
It’s time to prepare for the regular season. Washington hosts the Chargers in Week 1, while the Ravens go on the road to play the Raiders on Monday Night Football.
After defeating the Tennessee Titans last Sunday in the wild card game, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson was a happy man. Following his first playoff victory, he showed legendary Houston rapper Mike Jones some love. You remember Mike Jones, whose debut album “Who Is Mike Jones?” dropped in 2005. Jones had many hits on that album, including “Still Trippin” and “Back Then.”
Obviously, based on his reaction, Jackson is a big fan of Jones. When USA Today reporter Mike Jones was called on to ask Jackson a question, the former MVP started laughing, and eventually, he explained why.
With the wild card round almost done, the NFL has announced tonight the schedule of sites, dates, and times for the Divisional Playoffs on January 16-17.
Saturday, January 16:
NFC: 4:35 PM (ET) Los Angeles Rams (11-6) at Green Bay Packers (13-3) (FOX, FOX Deportes)
AFC: 8:15 PM (ET) Baltimore Ravens or Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (14-3) (NBC, Universo)
Sunday, January 17:
AFC: 3:05 PM (ET) Cleveland Browns or Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs (14-2) (CBS, CBS All Access, ESPN Deportes)
NFC: 6:40 PM (ET) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-5) at New Orleans Saints (13-4) (FOX, FOX Deportes)
Daunting challenges rooted in history, statistics and athleticism will greet the Giants when they face the Baltimore Ravens tomorrow in M&T Bank Stadium.
The Giants haven’t won in Baltimore since Sept. 15, 1963, when they defeated the Colts, 37-28. Okay, that’s misleading because they’ve since played there just twice, but both of those games – also played in December – were eminently forgettable. In 2004, rookie Eli Manning had an 0.0 passer rating and was replaced in a game for performance reasons for the only time in his career in a 37-14 loss. Eight years ago, the Giants lost, 33-14, as the Ravens gained 533 yards (309 passing, 224 on the ground), and owned the ball for more than 39 minutes. And we don’t need to discuss what happened when the teams met in Super Bowl XXXV 20 years ago.
Now the Giants are 5-9 and hoping to end a two-game losing streak in which they scored just 13 total points. They can win the NFC East title if they defeat the Ravens and Dallas and the Washington Football Team loses at least one of its final two games. But a Giants loss coupled with a Washington victory tomorrow will make Washington the division champions.
“Not to think about the playoffs or anything like that, but we’re basically treating it like the playoffs right now,” defensive lineman Leonard Williams said. “We know what’s at stake and we know that we have to win these last two games basically to go to the playoffs. Starting now is basically our playoffs. That’s kind of how we’re treating this game.”
Baltimore, which has defeated the three other NFC East teams, is 9-5, a record perhaps skewered by a COVID-influenced three-game losing streak that forced them to play a Wednesday night game in Pittsburgh without several players, notably quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Ravens scored 121 points in defeating Dallas, Cleveland and Jacksonville the last three weeks.
“Obviously, they’re getting guys back now healthy,” Giants coach Joe Judge said. “They’re really hitting their stride. This is a very good team. It’s going to take everything we have to prepare for them. We have to have our best on Sunday.”
Baltimore will make that difficult. The Ravens are the only team in the top six in the league in both points scored (fourth at 28.8 a game) and points allowed (sixth at 20.5). Baltimore leads the NFL in both rushing yardage per game (172.7) and per carry (5.2). Defensively, the Ravens rank ninth by allowing 343.7 yards a game and their third-down defense is tied for fourth (allowing conversions on just 36.6% of opponents attempts).
The Ravens have plenty of incentive; they’ve not clinched a playoff berth and could miss the postseason at 11-5 if they don’t get help.
Safety Logan Ryan last season played for the Tennessee Titans when they took leads of 14 and 22 points on their way to a 22-12 victory against the top-seeded Ravens in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game in Baltimore.
“The reason why my team had success against the Ravens last year is that we came out, we started fast, we got a lead,” Ryan said. “I think when you get a lead on the Ravens it makes them play behind, it changes their defense and their offensive schemes a little bit from playing from behind. They’re built to play from ahead because they’re really good at running the ball, they’re really aggressive on defense and you want to get those guys behind on the scoreboard early. So, starting fast is a major point for us and be ready to go on Sunday, believe you can win the game. Be ready to go and start fast is definitely a key point for us.”
The Ravens tied the NFL high with seven players selected to the Pro Bowl. One of those excluded was Jackson, the league’s most valuable player in 2019. In 13 games, Jackson has completed 64.8% of his passes and thrown for 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He leads all NFL quarterbacks with a team-high 828 rushing yards and has scored seven touchdowns on the ground. After running for 1,206 yards last year, Jackson is the only quarterback in NFL history with at least 800 yards rushing in consecutive seasons.
Jackson is 9-0 in starts against NFC teams.
“I think this guy is a unicorn in terms of how he can play,” Judge said. “He really makes explosive plays with his legs, along with the arm strength and the plays down the field he’s capable of making right there.
“This player is explosive. He’s very elusive, he’s extremely fast, he has great running instincts, he has very good balance and body control, he’s tough to take down, he breaks a lot of tackles. He can get to his top speed very quickly, but then also decelerate and changes direction at will. This is a guy, he’s a much different type of player at that position than really any other quarterback I can think of in the league. Obviously, he’s having a tremendous amount of success with what he does.”
After facing Seattle’s Russell Wilson and Arizona’s Kyler Murray this month, Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has had to devise a plan for another dynamic, multi-dimensional quarterback in Jackson.
“He’s different, he’s very different,” Graham said. “…This guy is so fast, he’s so big, he’s so dynamic with the ball. When you sell out for the run game, he will throw the ball over your head and it will be a touchdown with the targets they have. With Hollywood (Marquise Brown) and (Mark) Andrews. It’s a unique challenge. I’m looking forward to it. Guys have to get ready for it. It’s going to be fun. We just have to see if we can execute.”
Their hopes of staying in the division race might depend on it.
“The weather’s cold, most teams are physical this time of year, most teams run the ball, most teams want to stop the run,” Ryan said. “It’s really about executing your details, executing the game, being good situationally and when we tend to do that, we tend to win the game. To us, it’s about cleaning up our details and executing and getting ready to play the Ravens.”
*Wide receiver Golden Tate will not play because of a calf injury. Tate is fourth on the team with 35 catches for 388 yards. He has two touchdown receptions.
Quarterback Daniel Jones (hamstring/ankle), linebacker Blake Martinez (ankle) and cornerback Darnay Holmes (knee) are questionable.