Bengals’ Zac Taylor not a fan of NFL’s coin toss solution: ‘We just want the rules to be followed’

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor called out the NFL Friday for seemingly ignoring its own rules in deciding to pick the location of a potential wild-card game against the Baltimore Ravens with a coin toss.

Taylor spoke to reporters Friday ahead of the NFL’s approved resolution that gives the league the authority to determine the site of a possible matchup between the Bengals and Ravens using the 50/50 odds of a coin toss despite the Bengals earning home-field advantage with first place in the AFC North.

Joe Burrow (9) of the Cincinnati Bengals and teammates walk to the locker room after a game against the Buffalo Bills was suspended due to an injury to Damar Hamlin of the Bills during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati.
(Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

“As far as I’m concerned, we just want the rules to be followed,” Taylor said, via The Cincinnati Enquirer. “When a game is cancelled, you just turn to winning percentage to clarify everything, so we don’t have to make up rules.

BENGALS’ JOE MIXON SEEMINGLY TAKES ISSUE WITH NFL POSTSEASON SEEDING CHANGES FOLLOWING CANCELED GAME VS. BILLS

“There’s several instances this season when a club is fined or people in our building are fined, and we’re being told, ‘Follow the rules. It’s black and white. It’s in the rule book.’ So now when we point out the rules and you’re told, ‘We’re going to change that,’ I don’t want to hear about fair and equitable when that’s the case.”

If Baltimore (10-6) were to beat Cincinnati (11-4) Sunday and the two face off the following week in the wild-card round, the Ravens would still lose home field advantage despite having two wins over a division opponent because the Bengals became AFC North champs with the “no-contest” ruling in Monday’s suspended game between the Bengals and Bills.

Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals, kneeling in center, and Jordan Poyer (21) of the Buffalo Bills react following the injury to Damar Hamlin during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium Jan.  2, 2023, in Cincinnati.

Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals, kneeling in center, and Jordan Poyer (21) of the Buffalo Bills react following the injury to Damar Hamlin during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati.
(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

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Bengals running back Joe Mixon raised the issue on Thursday, posting a screenshot of the NFL rule book that specifies, “If a game is canceled, a team’s standing in its division or in its conference (eg, qualification as a Wild Card on the playoffs or position in playoff seeding) shall be determined on the basis of its final record.”

A win on Sunday, however, would make the coin toss irrelevant.

Zac Taylor, the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, against the Tennessee Titans during an AFC divisional playoff at Nissan Stadium Jan.  22, 2022, in Nashville.

Zac Taylor, the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, against the Tennessee Titans during an AFC divisional playoff at Nissan Stadium Jan. 22, 2022, in Nashville.
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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“What this team will do is all we can control is going to play in the game this weekend and do our best to win, and that’s what this team will channel that energy into that,” Taylor said.

In addition to the coin toss, NFL owners also approved a resolution to potentially move the AFC championship game to a neutral site. The decisions come as a result of the Bills and Bengals having played one less game than the rest of the AFC opponents after Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest.

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