NFL Week 18 schedule: Ravens-Bengals time announced for AFC North matchup to close regular season – CBSSports.com

The NFL has announced that the Week 18 matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals will kick off at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. 

When the league first announced the schedule for the final week of the regular season, it initially kept the start time of this AFC North matchup in flux, giving it a “to be determined” tag for Sunday. The reason for that was because the stakes for the matchup were still uncertain, with Cincinnati still having to play the Buffalo Bills last Monday when the times for Week the 18 slate were unveiled. 

Had the Bills beaten the Bengals in that game, Baltimore-Cincinnati would have been played at 4:25 p.m. ET, with the winner of that game clinching the AFC North title. Had Cincinnati defeated Buffalo, clinching the division in the process, that game would’ve been at 1 p.m. ET.

The Bills-Bengals matchup never reached its conclusion, however, as it was postponed following the in-game collapse of Damar HamlinThe Bills safety suffered cardiac arrest on the field and remains in critical condition. A decision about that game will be made “in the coming days,” according to the NFL, while “everything is being considered” as it relates to the rest of the league schedule.

If the league decides to cancel the game, the Bengals would clinch the AFC North ahead of their Week 18 showdown with the Ravens. But if Cincinnati loses to Baltimore — which has already clinched a playoff berth — and the league then decides to finish the Bills game, it would become a must-win for Cincinnati to secure the division. That said, if any rescheduling remains unclear by the time these division rivals square off Sunday, the Bengals would clinch the division with a win or tie.

Cincinnati is looking to clinch the AFC North for the second time in as many seasons, which would marking the first time the franchise has secured the division in back-to-back years since 1981-82.  

This content was originally published here.

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