The highly anticipated Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills game ended up being canceled after the tragic incident with Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin. With the game not rescheduled, it has shaken up the NFL landscape. The Bengals will now be labeled the AFC North champions with only a 16-game schedule.
However, if they lose Sunday to the Baltimore Ravens the NFL has come up with an idea that home-field advantage in a potential Ravens-Bengals Playoff matchup the following week would be determined by a coin flip. If the Bengals were to lose this Sunday they would finish the season with an 11-5 record while the Ravens would finish 11-6 and have the extra game played.
With the proposal being the way it is and the Bengals still have somewhat of a viable shot at the two seed in the AFC, so I’d expect the Bengals to play all their healthy starters. After Ja’Marr Chase’s performance last time he played Baltimore earlier in the year expects a bounce-back game by the Pro Bowl receiver.
The Bengals' offense has been clicking at a high level and this is a prime opportunity for Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase to enter the postseason firing on all cylinders. The Ravens have a very talented secondary led by Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters but are coming off a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers where Kenny Pickett looked very good finding his spots.
It will be interesting to see how the Bengals come out and play after going through the traumatizing Monday Night matchup, but with Hamlin in good spirits and improving every day, hopefully, it gives the Bengals and the NFL a sense of peace going into the Week 18 season finales. The Bengals with a win and a Bills loss can clinch the #2 seed. With a win and a Bills win they would lock up the #3 seed and would be in tune with a matchup with the #6 team which could very well be the Ravens in the first round of the playoffs.
In the Bengals and Ravens' first meeting, Ja’Marr Chase was held to seven receptions for 50 yards and was limited to no big plays that ended up being a huge piece to the puzzle for the Ravens to keep it low scoring and win the game. Tee Higgins was injured in the game and after testing it on the first series never ended up playing so it did allow the Ravens to focus and key in on Chase throughout the matchup.
This is a big game for both sides and Chase will be trying get that revenge in the season finale. Ja'Marr Chase is your Bengals weekly breakout candidate for Week 18.