The final week of the NFL is finally taking center stage as the games started last January 6. The games continued on Sunday, with six matches that took place at 1 PM E.T. and another seven matches at 4:25 PM E.T.
After the games, only one thing is clear: week 18 never failed to continue the heat of the NFL. Here, there were season-ending losses, finale flops, and team comebacks. Nonetheless, it’s best to fill yourself with the highlights of the games:
Buffalo Bills Take AFC East
Regarding the kinds of the AFC East, there’s none other than the Buffalo Bills. With their win this January 8, the Bills set themselves atop the FanDuel NFL odds and, most importantly, on their fourth straight win in their bracket.
Not only this, the team has also earned themselves the No. 2 seed in the AFC. The Buffalo Bills will be the first to open the playoffs at their home court. If they win, the Bills will move on to host a divisional match.
In their match against the Miami Dolphins, you could tell that the Bills were all in. Quarterback Josh Allen went for 359 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions, and 15 carries, and Khalil Shakir paired it with six catches for 105 yards. Moreover, Tua Tagovailoa went for 173 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown.
However, the second and third quarters also became tricky as the Dolphins broke plays successfully. Likewise, the Dolphins had a seven-point lead in the game. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when the Bills made a comeback with Deonte Harty. This wide receiver ran back for 96 yards and scored for a touchdown.
Los Angeles Chargers Facing the Offseason with A Loss
Los Angeles Chargers will have to try again next season as they end this year with their fifth-straight loss. During their game against the Kansas City Chiefs, they will embark on an offseason with a 13-12 point difference.
In the game, Chiefs’ Kicker Harrison Butker made all the difference with his 41-yard goal with only 49 seconds left on the clock. Although the Chargers gained possession of the ball, they struggled to move forward since the team even made passes that were too high.
Moreover, all the Chargers’ points boiled down to Cameron Dicker’s field goals. Cameron made a 20-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, giving the Chargers their first lead in the match. However, the Chiefs soon took the lead back in the fourth quarter and ultimately won.
During the offseason, the team will have a new coach and new general manager, which means you’ll see a new team that will be completely different from what it is now. Since the team lost eight of their last nine matches, they must prove themselves during the drafts in April.
Jets’ Comeback Over the Patriots’
You’d think that the Jets would crumble under the fan-favorite Patriots, but two plays later, the Jets took home the win on a busy afternoon. Before their game last Sunday, the Jets remained underdogs as they lost 15 times.
During the game, Jets’ Breece Hall went for a career-high record of 178 yards and a touchdown. The team also entered the fourth quarter with a 9-2 lead and less than four minutes. Although the Patriots managed to start their play, they were quickly intercepted. Halle added in a 50-yard touchdown run, and point-conversion runs.
Seahawks’ Eliminated From the Playoffs
Although the Seattle Seahawks won against the Cardinals with a 21-20 score, the team won’t make the playoffs with the Green Bay Packers winning against the Chicago Bears (17-9).
The Seahawks opened the game with their defense, where Kyler Murray went for a pass to Trey McBride on the second play. Not only this, but the team also moved effectively during their opening drive, with Geno Smith hitting his three passes for 40 yards perfectly.
The Cardinals finally pushed the Seahawks back with their offense in the second quarter. Here, Cardinals Quandre Diggs strung out Murray’s play, and the Seahawks’ defense looked stuck. However, the Cardinals were stopped by Seahawks Place Kicker James Conner, who went for a 6 run on a 3rd.
Geno Smith also shone in the fourth quarter when he went ahead with a 34-yard touchdown to Tyler Lockett. With this, the point conversion led Seattle to a lead with a minute left. This game showed how persistent the play is between offense and defense between the two teams, but ultimately, the Seahawks prevailed in the end.
Lions’ Taking the Win
This season became the best for the Detroit Lions as they set a record for most wins. After taking down the Minnesota Vikings with a 30-20 score, they end the 2023 regular season 12-5, locking themselves into the No.3 seed in the NFC.
The Vikings were no match for the Lions’ defense, as it ended any of their comeback hopes. In the Lions’ 26-yard line, the team pressured Nick Mullens and Alex Anzalone, who then lost the ball out of their hands. After, Lions’ Cam Sutton pulled it in and immediately went for the 36-yard line.
It’s always guaranteed to be exciting during the final week of the NFL – and even more so with comebacks and season flops. Moreover, the end of Week 18 marks the push of the playoffs. With this, don’t forget to check in with the wild-card matchups and the expert projections.