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Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium host of attainable AFC title sport


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Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta

Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta
Picture: Getty Pictures

The NFL didn’t really mess this one up. My apologies for bracing for affect on something the league does as of late, particularly when it includes Buffalo. The league introduced {that a} attainable AFC Championship sport between the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Buffalo Payments would occur at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The necessity for a neutral-site sport with a Tremendous Bowl berth on the road was necessitated by the cancelation of Week 17’s Bengals-Payments after Buffalo security Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest within the first quarter.

Why Atlanta?

Selecting the house of the Falcons, who didn’t come shut to creating the playoffs, to host some of the essential video games of the season isn’t stunning. It’s equidistant from Kansas Metropolis and Buffalo; it’s one of many NFL’s latest stadiums, it’s hosted Tremendous Bowl LIII, and Atlanta is an outstanding sports activities metropolis. There’s a purpose why when the coronavirus pandemic threatened to postpone the NFL and the FBS school soccer seasons Atlanta was pitched as a bubble website. Loads of stadiums giant sufficient to host and socially distance groups. Now, with no matter tickets could be left over from Payments and Chiefs followers within the odds-on favourite AFC title sport, a football-crazed space of America might promote out that stadium with out restrictions.

The Payments and Chiefs need to win to get there, clearly

After all, the Payments should win twice to do their half in making an Atlanta matchup occur, and the Chiefs will possible need to undergo the Jacksonville Jaguars-L.A. Chargers winner to make their fifth straight AFC Championship sport. Are you able to see Patrick Mahomes dropping to both a type of groups proper now within the postseason at dwelling? Completely not. Whereas Kansas Metropolis isn’t good, Jacksonville and Los Angeles don’t have the depth to reveal the Chiefs’ faults. Mahomes has persistently been unbelievable for the final 5 years. Let’s not let the normalization of Mahomes wowing us on Sundays distract from how abnormally absurd his play is.

What about the Bengals?

The biggest roadblock to a neutral-site extravaganza would be Cincy. Both teams who only completed 16 regular-season video games will possible face an inexperienced backup quarterback within the Wild Card spherical. A Lamar Jackson-less Ravens workforce? They’re toast. A Dolphins workforce making an attempt to win within the Western New York chilly with out Tua Tagovailoa? Regardless of his current interceptions, don’t fake handing the ball to Skylar Thompson is any higher. We’ll get the rematch of the one NFL sport to not be accomplished this yr within the divisional spherical.

Any mixture of the Payments, Chiefs, and Bengals have had memorable current matchups towards one another. After all, there was Monday Night time Soccer two weeks in the past. And the Chiefs’ most up-to-date postseason noticed a win towards the Payments, in one of many biggest video games we’ve ever seen, and the last-second loss to the Bengals. These three have separated themselves on the high of the AFC, very like the Eagles and 49ers have the NFC. It’d be a shocker to not see the Tremendous Bowl matchup not be contested between a pair of these 5. We’d solely see Atlanta come into play if Buffalo and Kansas Metropolis play for a second time this season. That neutral-site environment could be loopy. And in a great way for the NFL. 

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