With the NFL announcing yesterday that the schedule for week 18 will remain unchanged, it is only natural to think about how this Bills versus Patriots game will play out after Damar Hamlin collapsed suffering from cardiac arrest on Monday night. Although the Bills, and the rest of the sports world, are sending their thoughts and prayers to Damar Hamlin with the NFL’s announcement the Bills need to focus their attention on the New England Patriots.
Week 18 Patriots @ Bills
Now this is a bit of a tricky situation as many people know about how the Bills Bengals games ended after Damar Hamlin collapsed. For a football team to see that is as traumatic as anything in sports can go through and focusing your attention back on a game seems impossible.
For many Bills players it would seem to be that even this week the Bills would struggle to focus their attention on the Patriots. If that is the case then Buffalo could potentially forfeit their game, which would be the last thing anyone wants but if the Bills are unable to focus their attention on the game. Even if the Bills play, they would be doing so with heavy hearts.
The Bills announce that they will have meetings and a walkthrough for players today, in advance of Sunday's home game against the Patriots. There won't be any media availability.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 4, 2023
The Patriots Bills game is scheduled for one o’clock on Sunday in Buffalo and as of now the game is on. The Patriots will practice today and have media availability while the Bills will have a team meeting and a quick walkthrough and will have no media availability as Damar Hamlin remains in the hospital.
AFC Playoff Picture
With playoff spots still in the balance there are many situations on how the AFC playoffs would shape up. If the Chiefs, Bengals, and Patriots all win this weekend then the Chiefs would secure the top spot in the AFC followed by the Bengals. The Bengals would have the fourth tiebreaker over the Bills due to strength of victory. With the NFL still trying to figure out how to proceed with the remainder of the season to ensure all teams play 17 games, scheduling could come into play as well.
Per Pro Football Talk; In an adjusted playoff schedule, which has gained the most traction from the NFL, the original date for wild card weekend would start on time for the NFC with all AFC playoff teams having a weekend off while the Bills and Bengals resume their game.
The following weekend would be an off weekend for the playoff for the NFC and the AFC would commence their wildcard wound now that there are no questions about playoff standings. Then the divisional round would start the following weekend for both conferences. The only wrinkle remaining at this point would be instead of two weeks between the conference championship games and Super Bowl there would just be a single week.
This idea is still up in the air but is the best possible outcome to ensure all teams have a fair shot, unless the NFL switched their playoff format to overall winning percentage which would be the easiest. The only team that this would affect at this point is the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens could beat the Bengals this weekend and clinch their division but in either scenario the Ravens would not end up winning their division, if the Bengals beat Buffalo in a rescheduled game. If the winning percentage comes into play, then the Bengals would win the AFC North and have the two seed.
Damar Hamlin Update
Damar Hamlin has had his oxygen intake reduced from one hundred percent to fifty percent, according to his uncle, which is a positive sign for the 24 year old. Damar remains in a medically induced coma while he recovers.
NFL fans have 6.25 million dollars to Damar’s GoFundMe in which he was raising money for a community toy drive.
The GoFundMe states “This fundraiser was initially established to support a toy drive for Damar’s community, sponsored by the Chasing M’s Foundation.
Damar Hamlin’s third annual toy drive is approaching $1M in donations. His original goal was $2,500. Thank you to everyone who donated to Damar in his selfless efforts to help kids in need. Here is the link to his charity as well:https://t.co/tcFOCC6vqD pic.twitter.com/EQOXB31Olw
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) January 3, 2023
However, it has received renewed support in light of Damar’s current battle and we can’t thank all of you enough. Your generosity and compassion mean the world to us.
If you would like to show your support and contribute to Damar’s community initiatives and his current fight, this is the place to do so. This is the only current fund that is being used by the Hamlin Family.
Again, thank you for your thoughts, prayers and generous support during this time.”
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