Must See Games of NFL Week 18

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) reacts to an incomplete pass against the Titans. Bob Self/Florida Times Union

Other than the Monday Night incident, this may have been one of the best football weekends of recent memory. With only the national championship left for college, that means it’s almost playoff time in the NFL. Here are the games that matter the most in the NFL for week 18.

Chiefs vs Raiders

This is the first game of the Saturday double header for the NFL week 18 slate. With the way Jarrett Stidham played last Sunday, the Raiders were actually a really fun watch even in a loss. Barely losing to the 49ers, this was the team that most NFL fans thought we would see this season. The reason this game is so important is because of the one seed. If the Chiefs win, they lock up the one seed no matter what. Assuming the starters play most of the game, this will be a fun offensive game to watch. The last game was a 30-29 victory by the Chief’s. Patrick Mahomes has never been on the road in his playoff career, and the Chiefs do not want to start that this season.

Titans vs Jaguars

This is the second game of the Saturday double header of the NFL week 18 slate, however this is way more important than the first. Both of these teams can make the playoffs, but most likely only one will. It is very simple to how this is done: win and you are in. The Jaguars have been hot down the stretch of the season, being winners of 5 of their last 6. Trevor Lawrence has been playing really good ball too, showing why he was the top pick in the draft. As for the Titans, they are on the other side of the coin. After a 7-3 start, they have lost six in a row and are super injury plagued. Josh Dobbs will have his second start of his career, and it is maybe the biggest game of his career. Derrick Henry will be healthy, and he will need to carry this Titans team to the finish. This is an awesome game to start off week 18. Win and you are in, lose and your season is over.

Ravens vs Bengals

After what happened to the Bengals on Monday night, this game became even more important. I have no idea what the NFL will do, but for this game I’m going to assume they will void the Bengals-Bills game. With that game voided or seen as a no contest, that will mean that this game is for the division. Both teams will be in the playoffs, but the seeding is on the line. If the Bengals win, it’s a shot at the two seed and potentially two home playoff games. If the Ravens win, they will host a playoff game or two. This game is the difference between playing at home in the postseason or playing on the road. There is no word as of yet on if Lamar Jackson will play or not. This game is one of the most exciting on Sunday, and you won’t want to miss it.

Lions vs Packers

This is the Sunday night matchup of the NFL week 18 slate. This game is in the top three in importance this week. There is one spot left in the NFC, and it is between the Seahawks, Packers, and Lions. A Packers win would send them to the playoffs. A Lions win would mean that they would be in the playoffs only if Seattle lost. With Seattle playing earlier, we will know who has the best chance to get in by this game. The Packers have been hot down the last stretch of the season, while the Lions have struggled a bit. The Lions gave up 300+ on the ground against the Panthers, so I am curious to see how the Packers two headed monster does against this Lions team. This will be a great game to end the NFL regular season. Not much is better than an elimination game to set up the NFL playoffs.

Important team clinching scenarios

While these games might not be the best, there is still some important stuff to know. The 7th seed is up in the air in both conferences. For the AFC:

  • The Patriots own the 7th seed at 8-8, they will play the Bills this Sunday assuming the Bills can play. All they need is a win and they are in
  • The Dolphins as well are 8-8, but they need a win against the Jets and a Patriots loss to the Bills to get in
  • The Steelers are the last 8-8 team. They need a win against the Browns, and both a Patriots and Dolphins loss

For the NFC:

  • The Seahawks are 8-8. They need a win against the Rams and a Packers loss to clinch the 7th seed.

It’s week 18 and the last regular season week before playoffs.. Time to see who will be the last to join in on a chance at the Superbowl.

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