With the Buffalo Bills defeating the New England Patriots in Week 18, a neutral-site AFC Championship Game involving the Kansas City Chiefs remains a possibility. That was the agreed-upon solution from NFL owners after the Bills-Bengals Week 17 game was canceled and declared a “no contest” following Damar Hamlin’s injury.
So what would have to transpire from here on out for a neutral-site AFC title game to happen? If the participating teams in the AFC title game had a different number of regular season games played and the lower-seeded team could have been the number one seed had Week 17 been played. Basically, if the Chiefs and Bills meet in the AFC title game, it will be played at a neutral location. In any other scenario, the higher-seeded team would host the game.
As for potential locations of the AFC Championship Game, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis had been targeted as a possible solution, but they’ll be hosting a national volleyball tournament there that weekend. Detroit’s Ford Field has also been mentioned as a possible location, but they bowed out as they replace the playing surface at their field.
Obviously, wild-card weekend and the divisional round still have to play out for things to get to this point, but the NFL now has to prepare for the very real possibility of a neutral-site AFC title game. We’ll have more on a location when the league makes a decision.