Resolution Passes, Giving Ravens Chance at Hosting Playoff Game After Coin Flip

RB J.K. Dobbins

The Ravens will not be the 2022 AFC North champions, but they could get still get one of the title's perks.

If the Ravens beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in Week 18 and the Ravens and Bengals are set to play in the wild-card round, a coin flip will determined the site. The Chargers would also need to beat the Broncos on Sunday.

The Bills-Bengals game that was postponed Monday night after Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest will not be resumed. It will be declared a no-contest, which automatically made the Bengals AFC North champions because they will finish with a higher winning percentage than the Ravens.

However, Commissioner Roger Goodell created a resolution as a way to balance what the league called "potential competitive inequities."

If the Ravens win Sunday, they would have beaten the Bengals twice this year, have a 4-2 AFC North record to the Bengals' 2-4, and have the same number of total wins. Had the Bengals lost to the Bills, Baltimore would be the AFC North champion in that scenario.

Suddenly the Ravens-Bengals Week 18 game has bigger implications. Asked for his reaction to the league's resolution, Head Coach John Harbaugh said he hadn't given it too much thought.

"We're thinking about the Bengals and the playoffs," Harbaugh said. "So, whatever they do is good with me personally. We're just excited to go play the game on Sunday, and we're going to try to play our best football. That's really what we're thinking about."

The Ravens have been approaching Sunday's game with the intent to win, but it was still unclear how much their starters will play given the stakes.

"We're going to play this thing for short-term and long-term considerations," Harbaugh said.

Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman and Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald also both indicated Thursday that their game-planning and play-calling strategy for Sunday's game could be impacted by the prospect of facing the Bengals twice in two weeks.

As the second-place finisher in the AFC North, the Ravens will face the Los Angeles Chargers on the road and host the Dolphins or Patriots and Lions or Packers next season. The Bengals, by comparison, will face the Chiefs, Bills, and Vikings.

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