Jan. 6 (Reuters) – The NFL has 19 teams going into the playoff hunt in the final weekend of the regular season, but one player is in the spotlight as he recovers from cardiac arrest.
Saturday and Sunday will see dozens of teams bidding to secure postseason spots, including the Bills, who are the top seed in the American Football Conference (AFC) and have a chance at a first-round bye. .
But after the Bills’ game with the Cincinnati Bengals was postponed to Monday, piecing together the complex playoff puzzle became a little more difficult.
Having to recover his heart rate on the field, Hamlin spent most of the week on a ventilator in the intensive care unit at Cincinnati Hospital.
As the NFL enters its final weekend, it’s Hamlin who has fans around the world over Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes backing the 24-year-old as the sport’s most talked about player. is.
The emotional roller coaster the Bills have been riding has taken over on Sunday, with the NFL making pregame announcements at every stadium wearing his number ‘3’ and ‘Love for Damar 3’ stenciled on the field. We are planning a show to support Hamlin with a player wearing a sweater while warming up.
The Bills have resumed preparations for the Patriots, but general manager Brandon Bean admitted that it will be far from business as usual as players try to focus on the challenge at hand.
“This is going to be a celebration of life, an ongoing life,” Biehn told reporters ahead of Sunday’s game. “This will be a national and international celebration, not just for Buffalo.
“The hair on the back of my neck stands on end thinking about it now.
“For our team, it’s difficult to control your emotions. It will bring tears to your eyes.
“Probably harder than X and O.”
While Hamlin and the Bills are the emotional centerpiece of the weekend, there’s plenty of suspense above and below the full slate of games.
The playoff situation could soon become clearer on Saturday, when the Kansas City Chiefs can win over the Las Vegas Raiders to secure the coveted top seed.
A win would give the Chiefs a first-round bye, but not necessarily home field advantage.
At a special meeting Friday, the NFL decided the AFC Championship would be held at a neutral venue.
Also on Saturday, the Jacksonville Jaguars will face the Tennessee Titans in a winner-takes-all contest to determine the top spot and playoff berth in the AFC South.
The drama continues on Sunday as the revived Green Bay Packers start the season 4-8, host the Detroit Lions, and can earn a wild card with five straight wins.
The Lions also need a win to maintain their playoff chances, but they also need other results.
The New York Jets travel to Miami to face the struggling Dolphins. Both teams need a win to stay in the playoff chase.
In the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles are expected to injure quarterback Jalen Hurts while trying to claim the No. 1 seed in a win or tie with the New York Giants.
If the Eagles lose, the San Francisco 49ers (9-game winning streak) can secure the top spot with a win over the Arizona Cardinals.
If both the 49ers and the Eagles are eliminated, the Dallas Cowboys could beat the Washington Commanders to seize the NFC title.
Reporting by Steve Keating of Toronto.Editing by Christian Radnage
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