16. Chargers vs. Chiefs
The Chargers and Chiefs, once a great division rivalry game, are essentially meaningless in week 18. The Chiefs have done enough to win their division, and the Chargers have been defeated by the NFL season, so it's essentially a preseason game.
15. Raiders vs. Broncos
The Backup Bowl
Both these teams are eliminated from the playoffs. But both teams have also benched their QBs to avoid an injury clause and moved on from them. Both teams also hired the wrong coach at one point to try to court an old QB who never ended up playing for them. Are the Broncos playing the future version of them? Stidham was playing for the Raiders at the end of the season last year. Who is better off?
14. Browns vs. Bengals
It be Your Own People
The Bengals fought hard but are out of the playoffs, and the Browns are in. But the Bengals still have something to play for because, in addition to their personal careers, if they win, the AFC North will make history as the first division to have four teams with a winning record. Will it be a history-making game?
13. The Rams vs. The 49ers
Rivalry Game Light
The 49ers generally own the Rams, but that could change in this game. The Rams and 49ers are going to playoffs no matter what, but the Rams could be six or seven, depending on how they do here. The 49ers need to rest up, so this should be the perfect time for the Rams to capture a win.
12. Cowboys vs. The Commanders
This seems like an easy win for the Cowboys. They should beat the Commanders, take the NFC East, and become the two seed. They should, but let's remember that just last year, the Cowboys lost to a young Sam Howell's Commanders at the end of the season, and not only did they lose, but they were destroyed. Can the Cowboys avoid the same pitfall this year?
11. Eagles vs. Giants
The Lowest Bar
The Eagles beat the Giants the last time they played, but they couldn't do it convincingly. The Giants have been playing well, and they will be even better with Tyrod Taylor at QB, but if the Eagles can't beat the Giants with all the superior talent they have, or, even worse, they take a loss, then that will be a terrible sign for a team, that claims they are going back to the Super Bowl.
10. Bucs vs. Panthers
The Panthers are the worst team in the NFL, and the Bucs are leading the division. There's not much to see here. UNLESS the Panthers continue to improve and upset the Bucs, costing them the division. The Panthers are out of the playoff race, but they all need to prove they should still be paid by this organization next year. They have a lot to do. Plus, this was Baker's first team after the Browns. Can their new QB beat their old one, or will Baker make playoffs and rub it in the Panther's face?
9. Steelers vs. Ravens
There wasn't much to learn about the Ravens as they played backups. But the Steelers still swept the Ravens, beating both backups and starters this season, and they will end the season at 10-7 and probably make playoffs. The standard is the standard. All that talk of getting rid of Tomlin was ridiculous, and this is proof of another year without a losing season, another playoff birth probably, and who is his QB? Mason Rudolph, when you are playing this well, and your best option is Mason Rudolph(he is the best option), then I'd say you have a damn good coach to be in such a good position.
8. Vikings vs. Lions
The Lions have a chance at the two seed, but they most likely won't get it. The Vikings have a chance to make playoffs and likely won't get it. But they got to win and try to get it. You miss all the shots you don't take. Also, it's fascinating how things have changed. Just last year, the Vikings won 11 games and were one of the best teams in the NFL, and the Lions had a turbulent season, leading them to depend on other teams to get them in the playoffs. Now, the Lions are one of the best teams in the NFL, and the Vikings are depending on another team to get them in the playoffs. Things change a lot year after year. Who will seize the moment this year?
7. The Jets vs. The Patriots
The Last Dance?
Bill might be done with the Patriots after this season, and one thing he has never really done is lose to the Jets. The Jets have lost 15 straight to the Patriots, and the Patriots haven't been great this decade. Bill and the Patriots have caught fire lately and got some impressive wins with Zappe. Maybe that's enough to keep Bill with the Patriots, but that will all be reversed if he loses the last game of the season to the Jets. The Jets have already snapped their losing streak against the Eagles. Can they snap another one and get rid of the Bills for good?
6. Jaguars vs. The Titans
Friday Night Lights
It's been an up-and-down season for the Jaguars, but they just have one more inch to go for the playoffs. One more inch, and they make it into the magical playoff land where anything could happen. But that up-and-down season has allowed half of the AFC South to get to the Jaguar's heels. If they falter, their season could be snapped away. Plus, the only AFC team who can't take their spot is the Titans, who are trying to spoil the season for them. Will Levis is trying to make a name for himself, and he already has one big upset against the Dolphins. Can he spoil the Jaguars season as well?
5. The Seahawks vs. The Cardinals
The Seahawks can still make the playoffs, but they can't make it without winning or at least tying. The problem is that the Seahawks are playing one of the best spoiler teams in the league, who happen to be their division rivals as well. The Cardinals just beat the Eagles, and now if they the Seahawks, it's over. Are the Seahawks a flash in one year, out in the first round, and out of the playoffs completely the next? If the Seahawks lose this, there will be some uncomfortable conversations in Seattle. Who will be victorious?
4. Colts vs. Texans
Heartbreaking loss for the Colts. It hurts the most cause it's on them. The coach, who's been brilliant all year, made a good call on paper, but you look at the players who were in control of the game at the end, and it's not that good of a call. Minshew made a bad throw when it mattered most, which hurts after his great season. But that being said, the Colts have had a great season without their franchise QB, so they have to be excited for the future. They have the pieces to finish what they started next year.
The Texans have to be on Stroud 9. They got the best QB in the draft and have made it to the playoffs. They don't even feel like a one-and-done team. The Texans are a team that could beat a lot of teams in the AFC. So strap in and enjoy the ride, Texans fans. You've been through a lot. Enjoy it.
3. Saints vs. Falcons
Last Call For the NFC South
The Saints and Falcons looked like the Bucs were leaving them behind and would miss the playoffs. But the division title still remains over their head. If the Saints or Falcons win, and the Panthers win as well, the Falcons or Saints would take the division. We have seen this division play musical chairs, but who will be sitting at the top of the division when the music stops?
2. Packers vs. Bears
War For the Future
The Bears may be out of the playoffs, but this game means everything to both franchises. The Cities have been at war for a century, and now that the guard has changed, who has the advantage? The Packers won game one, but both teams have improved since then. The Bears, in particular, have beaten every NFC team except the Packers since then. Do the Packers still control this rivalry?
The Packers have control of not only the rivalry on the line but also the playoffs, for the Packers sweeping the Bears and making playoffs would cement this era of the Packers as legitimate and the team's future. Last year, the Lions knocked the Packers out of the playoffs in the last game of the season. Will they meet the same fate again?
Justin Fields has turned the tide; players and media are calling for him to be retained. The players on his team are calling for him to be kept, and the city chants we want Fields. However, this Packers game could cement Justin Fields as the future king of the north in Chicago or break him. Everything is on the line. Which franchise will win in the future?
1. The Bills vs. The Dolphins
The Division and the Spoils
The Bills beat the Dolphins earlier in the season, but they were playing so badly that it didn't seem like it would matter because the Dolphins would outpace them in wins. Well, now here we are with the very last game of the season being for the AFC East. The Dolphins have fallen to this point, and the Bills have risen. The Dolphins are ascending, but just like the Bills couldn't rise until they got rid of the Patriots, the Dolphins can't ascend until they beat the Bills. In order to get the two seeds and the division, they have to take out the top dogs, and even if they don't, they make playoffs, but guess who they go to play?
This is the Dolphins test. Is the AFC East theirs? Can they rip it out of the cold, dead hands of the Bills, or are they still inferior? The Dolphins are hurt right now. They got a lot of injuries, and the Bills need this. They have been falling down year after year from Conference Championship blowout to blowout loss at home in the divisional round against the Bengals. Could the Bills fall to not making the playoffs at all? Only one team can thrive in this division. Who will win, and who will be killed off?