Jan 8, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles fans cheer on during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Full NFL playoff picture: Eagles land bye, Dolphins snag wild card

With all but one Week 18 game complete, 13 of the NFL’s 14 playoff teams were set in stone Sunday evening.

The Philadelphia Eagles finally secured the top seed in the NFC and the Miami Dolphins grabbed the last AFC wild-card berth during the afternoon action.

The only spot left at the table was the No. 7 seed in the NFC. The Seattle Seahawks remained alive for it by defeating the Los Angeles Rams 19-16 in overtime. But the Green Bay Packers have a win-and-in scenario entering “Sunday Night Football” against the visiting Detroit Lions. If the Packers lose, the Seahawks will earn the berth.

The Eagles’ 22-16 victory over the New York Giants halted a two-game slide and brought Philadelphia to 14-3, out of reach of the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, who were also contending for the NFC’s top seed at the start of the day.

Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills secured the No. 2 seed in the AFC by beating the New England Patriots 35-23. The Cincinnati Bengals locked up the No. 3 seed with a 27-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens. The Bills and Bengals were playing for the first time since their Monday night game was postponed and eventually canceled after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field.

The day’s results set up the Bengals to face the Ravens in the AFC wild-card round. The NFL has said that due to the scheduling disadvantages caused by Monday’s cancellation in Cincinnati, homefield advantage for Bengals-Ravens will be decided by a coin flip.

The Dolphins beat the New York Jets 11-6 to beat out New England and the Pittsburgh Steelers for the last available AFC berth.

See the full schedule below (times and dates TBD):

No. 7 Miami Dolphins (9-8) at No. 2 Buffalo Bills (13-3)
No. 6 Baltimore Ravens (10-7) vs. No. 3 Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)
No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers (10-7) at No. 4 Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)
Bye: No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (14-3)

No. 7 Seattle or Green Bay (TBD) at No. 2 San Francisco 49ers (13-4)
No. 6 New York Giants (9-7-1) at No. 3 Minnesota Vikings (13-4)
No. 5 Dallas Cowboys (12-5) at No. 4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9)
Bye: No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)

–Field Level Media

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) looks up at the scoreboard between plays in the fourth quarter during an NFL Week 5 game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

Nfl Cincinnati Bengals At Baltimore Ravens Oct 9 0333

Owners approve AFC neutral site playoff proposals

Neutral site AFC playoff proposals were approved by NFL owners in a 30-minute Zoom call on Friday.

A total of 24 votes for approving the proposal were required; 25 voted yes, according to NFL Network.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said the plan was designed to “mitigate certain competitive effects in the AFC playoffs resulting from two clubs playing fewer regular-season games.”

But the Cincinnati Bengals, who could have the site of their wild-card playoff game decided by a coin flip, argue the league ignored existing rules that state win-loss record determines playoff position in the event of a cancellation.

“There’s several instances this season where the club is fined or people in our building are fined and we are being told to follow the rules. It’s black and white in the rulebook,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said Friday. “So, now, when we point out the rules and you are told, ‘We are going to change that,’ I don’t want to hear about fair and equitable when that is the case.”

NFL owners passed all proposals on Friday, including “if (a) Baltimore defeats Cincinnati in the game between the two clubs scheduled for Sunday, January 8, 2023; and (b) Baltimore and Cincinnati are scheduled to play against one another in a Wild Card Game the following weekend, the site of the game will be determined by a coin toss supervised by the Commissioner. Unless both conditions are met, the site of any Wild Card Game involving Baltimore and Cincinnati shall be determined per Article XX of the Constitution and Bylaws. Irrespective of where a Wild Card game between Baltimore and Cincinnati is played, all teams will retain their seeding as determined by the regular season winning percentage throughout the playoffs and for other competitive determinations.”

As a result of the cancellation of the Bills-Bengals game halted Monday when Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin experienced a cardiac arrest on the field, the Bills and Bengals will have their postseason positions determined based on their winning percentage for a 16-game season rather than the 17-game slot played by all other NFL teams.

Additionally, the AFC Championship game would be played at a neutral site if the home team for that contest ordinarily would have been settled in part by the result of the now-canceled game.

“This has been a very difficult week,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “We continue to focus on the recovery of Damar Hamlin and are encouraged by the improvements in his condition as well as the tremendous outpouring of support and care for Damar and his family from across the country. We are also incredibly appreciative of the amazing work of the medical personnel and commend each and every one of them.”

By announcing the decision on the fate of the halted game prior to the Week 18 slate that will conclude the regular season on Sunday, the NFL said that all teams now will enter their finales knowing exactly what scenarios are in play.

The AFC title game would be played at a neutral site if any of three possibilities occur:

–If Buffalo (12-3) and Kansas City (13-3) both win or tie this weekend, a Bills-Chiefs championship game would be held at a neutral site.

–If the Bills and Chiefs both lose this weekend and the Baltimore Ravens (10-6) win or tie, a Buffalo-Kansas City championship game would be played at a neutral site.

–If the Bills and Chiefs both lose and Bengals win, Buffalo-Kansas City or Cincinnati-Kansas City AFC title game would be held at a neutral site.

Cincinnati (11-4) can avoid a coin flip by beating the Ravens.

A Baltimore win and season sweep of Cincinnati would also give the teams the same number of wins, but the Bengals would have fewer losses. Should those teams wind up facing off in a wild-card game — to be determined by complete game results this week — a coin toss then determines the home team of only that game.

The site of any other wild-card game involving either of those teams would be determined per standard procedure.

“As we considered the football schedule, our principles have been to limit disruption across the league and minimize competitive inequities,” Goodell said in a statement. “I recognize that there is no perfect solution. The proposal we are asking the ownership to consider, however, addresses the most significant potential equitable issues created by the difficult, but necessary, decision not to play the game under these extraordinary circumstances.”

–Field Level Media

Katie Blackburn, executive vice president of the Bengals, stands with her father and Bengals owner Mike Brown during the Paycor Stadium ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. The Bengals will play their first regular-season home game on Sept. 11 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Paycor Stadium Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Sept 6 2022

Reports: Bengals pushing owners to vote ‘No’ to neutral site plan

No to neutral.

That’s the position of Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown, per reports.

While the NFL rulebook outlines final win-loss record as the basis for playoff position in the event of a game cancellation, the league introduced an alternative to be considered by league owners Friday.

But CBS Sports said Friday citing NFL sources that the Bengals are seeking allies to push back against the league’s plan to utilize neutral sites to resolve possible issues created by eliminating the Bengals-Buffalo Bills game that was postponed Monday.

NFL owners are scheduled for a noon ET meeting on Friday to vote on the proposed postseason changes involving Week 18 outcome-specific plans for a neutral site AFC Championship game and possibly the Bengals’ wild-card game.

Cincinnati (11-4) hosts the Baltimore Ravens (10-6) on Sunday and if the teams wind up wild-card opponents based on the outcome of the Week 18 game, a coin flip would decide which team hosts the playoff game. If the Bengals lose Sunday, they would still have a higher winning percentage despite two losses to Baltimore this season. Because of the winning percentage component, Baltimore would not automatically be awarded the home game.

A member of the competition committee, Katie Blackburn, executive vice president of the Bengals and Brown’s daughter, sent an email Thursday night outlining her opposition to the plan, CBS Sports reported.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2022; Glendale, AZ, USA;  Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) celebrates with fans after winning 25-24 against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers can clinch playoff berth with win against Colts

The Los Angeles Chargers will clinch a playoff berth with a win Monday night in Indianapolis against the Colts.

The team is seeking it first playoff spot since 2018, and the path was made easier after both the New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders lost on Saturday.

The Chargers (8-6) currently are the No. 6 seed in the AFC, just ahead of the Miami Dolphins (8-7). The top seven teams from each conference advance to the postseason.

And Chargers players know they have their playoff fate in their hands.

“We don’t have to look over our shoulders or be fans of other teams,” safety Derwin James Jr. said, per the Los Angeles Times. “When you can control your own destiny, it’s what’s good.”

James, who missed the past two games with a quad strain, is expected to return against the Colts (4-9-1).

The Chargers close the season with the Los Angeles Rams on Jan. 1 and at the Denver Broncos on Jan. 8.

–Field Level Media

Dec 4, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (26) celebrates his touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles, Vikings, Chiefs can clinch playoffs in Week 14

The Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs have a chance to clinch playoff spots in Week 14.

The NFC East-leading Eagles (11-1) will lock up a spot with a win or a tie on Sunday against the host New York Giants. Alternatively, Philadelphia could also clinch if the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks both lose.

The Vikings (10-2) can clinch the NFC North division title for the first time since 2017 with a win or tie on Sunday against the host Detroit Lions.

The Chiefs (9-3) can clinch their seventh consecutive AFC West division title on Sunday if they beat the Denver Broncos on the road and the Los Angeles Chargers lose at home to the Miami Dolphins.

–Field Level Media

Bills quarterback Josh Allen  walks of the field after fumbling the snap that turned into a Vikings touchdown.

OT loss costs Bills ground but still Super Bowl, AFC favorites

From a prohibitive favorite to narrowly leading the pack in a matter of hours on Sunday, oddsmakers are adjusting futures markets following Buffalo’s overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Still listed as the team to beat in the AFC East division, the Bills would be the No. 6 seed in the AFC if the playoffs began Monday.

At 6-3, they’re behind the Miami Dolphins (7-3) and New York Jets, who are also 6-3 but own a head-to-head win over the Bills.

Before Sunday’s kickoff, FanDuel had the Bills at -450 to win the division. By the time the Vikings recovered a fourth Buffalo fumble and pushed the game into overtime, the Bills dipped to -150 with the Dolphins +240 and Jets at +1100.

The Bills are still +200 and atop the AFC champion futures at FanDuel, with the Kansas City Chiefs +240 and the Baltimore Ravens +650.

Miami is +950 at FanDuel.

Buffalo also is the favorite to win the Super Bowl, but at +380 their odds are lower than they have been at FanDuel since July.

The Eagles and Chiefs are +500 and the Minnesota Vikings are +1300, even with the Ravens.

Caesars Sportsbook has the Bills at -180 in the division, +190 in the conference and +380 for the Super Bowl.

The Chiefs closed to +220 in AFC winner odds and +475 for the Super Bowl.

Minnesota is the largest favorite for a division title at -6000 in the NFC North. But Philadelphia is the big favorite in the NFC: +190 to claim the conference title and +500 to win the Super Bowl at Caesars.

–Field Level Media

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) runs off the field after defeating the Buffalo Bills 21-19 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Sept. 25, 2022.

Playoff buy-in builds at books for Dolphins, Packers

Public plays on the Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins making the playoffs are on the rise.

The Packers (2-1) outlasted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3 and the Dolphins held off the Buffalo Bills to improve to 3-0. Those two-point wins provided a push for some bettors to jump on the “to make playoffs” futures at BetMGM.

Since those games went final, Green Bay moved from -275 to -400 and the Dolphins jumped from -200 to -400 entering Week 4.

At -400 odds, the implied probability is 80 percent that those teams are playoff bound.

The Packers host the New England Patriots (1-2) this week but are planning for quarterback Brian Hoyer instead of Mac Jones (ankle).

Miami visits the Cincinnati Bengals (1-2) on Thursday night with games against the New York Jets (1-2), Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2), Detroit Lions (1-2) and Chicago Bears (2-1) upcoming.

The Packers last missed the playoffs in 2019.

The Dolphins remain +210 to win the AFC East at FanDuel — the Bills are -240 — and Green Bay jumped the Minnesota Vikings and stand at -125 to win the NFC North at FanDuel. The Vikings are +165.

One of the largest adjustments in win total projections at FanDuel is Miami at 10.5, up from 7.5 prior to Week 1. The Dolphins are -135 to go over that total.

–Field Level Media

Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky is sacked by Browns linebacker Jacob Phillips during the second half Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, in Cleveland.

Brownssteelers 14

Mitch, please: Steelers down to 15 percent chance to make playoffs

Will the 1-2 Pittsburgh Steelers rebound and make the playoffs in 2022?

Bettors are banking on “No.”

BetMGM moved the Steelers down in a massive odds shift following Week 3 that pushed Pittsburgh from -350 to -750, an implied probability of over 85 percent.

The Steelers are riding with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback in the first season without Ben Roethlisberger since 2004 and play the Jets (1-2) in Week 4. But peeking around the corner, they play at Buffalo (Oct. 9), host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Oct. 16) and then visit the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles — both 3-0 this season — before Halloween.

A bye week, and golden opportunity for Pittsburgh to launch the Kenny Pickett era at quarterback, follows to kick off November.

Trubisky is averaging 5.5 yards per pass attempt and the Steelers have four offensive touchdowns and 54 points in three games. Trubisky has one touchdown run and two TD passes.

Pittsburgh’s lone win this season was a Week 1 overtime victory against the Bengals in which Cincinnati committed five turnovers.

Other teams who are being downgraded on the “to make playoffs” futures since Week 3 games were played include the Las Vegas Raiders (-350 to -550), Arizona Cardinals (-190 to -450), and Washington Commanders (-275 to -400).

–Field Level Media

Aug 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Network television commentator Al Michaels before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Al Michaels to call one playoff game for NBC as ‘emeritus’ contributor

Al Michaels and NBC Sports have reached an agreement that will keep Michaels on in an “emeritus role” going forward.

NBC announced the deal Tuesday, saying Michaels will continue to contribute to the network’s coverage of the NFL playoffs and the Olympics.

Michaels, 77, anchored NBC Sports’ “Sunday Night Football” broadcast team beginning in 2006, and his contract expired following the Super Bowl in February. NBC opted to promote Mike Tirico to the primary play-by-play announcer of “Sunday Night Football” alongside color commentator Cris Collinsworth.

Michaels, meanwhile, signed with Amazon to be the play-by-play voice of the company’s new “Thursday Night Football” broadcasts beginning next season.

Reports said Michaels will call one of NBC’s three playoff games next year with a partner yet to be named. Tirico and Collinsworth will handle the other games.

“I’m looking forward to continuing my longtime NBC relationship while also launching the Thursday Night Football package on Amazon this fallk,” Michaels said in a press release.

Michaels matched Pat Summerall by calling his 11th Super Bowl in February.

At Amazon, he will partner with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit on “Thursday Night Football” broadcasts. Herbstreit will continue in his role as ESPN’s lead college football commentator.

–Field Level Media

Jan 23, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce catches the game-winning touchdown in overtime in the AFC Divisional Round at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Germano-USA TODAY NETWORK

Nfl Afc Divisional Round Buffalo Bills At Kansas City Chiefs

NFL owners approve OT rules adjustment for playoffs

NFL owners on Tuesday approved a proposal to modify its overtime rule in the playoffs by ensuring both teams have a possession.

The proposal was brought forth by the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles.

Per ESPN, teams that won the overtime coin flip posted a 10-2 record in the playoffs, with seven of those wins coming on the opening possession.

Overtime in the regular season will remain under the current rules, with the game ending should one team score a touchdown on its opening possession regardless if the other side has touched the ball.

The change to the overtime rule in the playoffs comes on the heels of the Kansas City Chiefs’ 42-36 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Divisional round on Jan. 23.

The Chiefs won the coin toss prior to the start of overtime and elected to receive the ball.

Tight end Travis Kelce reeled in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to cap an eight-play, 75-yard drive on the first possession of overtime.

Quarterback Josh Allen and the Buffalo offense did not have a chance to respond.

–Field Level Media