NFL Week 18 schedule: 5 best games to watch
The final weekend of the season is here with the NFL Week 18 schedule, and these are the five best games on the docket ahead.
5. New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-3)
The Dolphins are playing for their season on Sunday afternoon. They must beat the Jets — who were eliminated from postseason contention when they lost to the Seattle Seahawks — and then get a loss by the Patriots, who are in Buffalo. It won’t be easy for Miami, which is starting rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson against an excellent defense. However, Joe Flacco is getting the start for New York, so this could come down to who makes the fewest mistakes.
4. Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-9)
Normally, a game with a nine-point spread wouldn’t be on the list, but this means too much. The Bengals can clinch home-field in the first round by beating Baltimore. Yet, if the Ravens win and the Los Angeles Chargers beat the Denver Broncos, there would be a coin flip to see who hosts the rematch in the AFC Wild Card round between these two AFC North foes. Expect Baltimore to play very hard, even though its without quarterback Lamar Jackson.
3. New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-7.5)
It will obviously be an emotional scene in Buffalo, after the harrowing events of Monday night involving safety Damar Hamlin. The Bills will either be playing to earn the No. 1 seed — if the Kansas City Chiefs lose to the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday — or to maintain the second seed. Meanwhile, it’s straightforward for the Patriots. If they beat the Bills, they’re the No. 7 seed and will either see Buffalo or Cincinnati in the first round.
2. Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-5)
It’s win-and-in for the Packers, who have come all the way back after being 4-8 via a four-game winning streak. They will host the Lions on Sunday night at Lambeau Field, knowing a victory makes them the seventh and final NFC playoff entry. As for Detroit, it needs the Los Angeles Rams to win on the road over the Seattle Seahawks, and then beat the Packers. Crazier things have happened.
1. Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-6.5)
This is simple. The winner takes home the AFC South crown and will host a playoff game in the Wild Card round. If the Titans lose, they are eliminated from playoff contention, having seen a 7-3 start turn into a 7-10 finish. As for Jacksonville, it could still get into the playoffs with a defeat, but would need the Dolphins, Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers to all lose. Not likely.