This Week in the NFL: Week 18

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa celebrates with teammate Jaylen Waddle after running for a first down in the team’s win versus the New England Patriots.

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa celebrates with teammate Jaylen Waddle after running for a first down in the team’s win versus the New England Patriots.


For the first time in NFL history, the regular season had an eighteenth week, meaning that all teams will have played seventeen regular season games instead of just sixteen. 

Coaching changes around the league: Denver Broncos fired head coach Vic Fangio. The Miami Dolphins let go of head coach Brian Flores, too, and the Chicago Bears fired head coach Matt Nagy.

Pittsburgh Steelers defender TJ Watt tied the single-season sack record at 22.5, tying retired New York Giants player Michael Strahan, who set this record back in 2001. He’ll have an opportunity to break the record during the Steelers’ playoff game this upcoming Sunday.

The Indianapolis Colts were heavily favored to win their matchup versus the now 3-14 Jacksonville Jaguars. However, they had a frustrating performance during their road game, struggling the entire time, and lost big, 26-11. Because of this, the Colts will lose their spot in the AFC playoff bracket.

The New England Patriots had a rough start in Miami versus the Miami Dolphins. Early in the game, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones threw an interception, which was returned for a touchdown. Early in the game, they were down by seventeen points. They came roaring back in the second half, and were eventually only down by three points. They had the ball ninety-nine yards from their scoring end zone, with three seconds left in the fourth quarter. In a last-ditch effort, the Patriots ran a play with players lateraling back and forth. After one lateral pass, the ball floated into a Dolphins players’ hands, and he ran into the end zone with the ball, scoring a touchdown for the Dolphins as time expired.

The Washington Football Team will announce their new name on February 2nd. They were previously named the Washington Redskins, but had to change their name due to controversy.

The playoff picture: Since the regular season came to a close, the matchups were confirmed. They were spread across Saturday, January 15th, Sunday, January 16th, and Monday, January 17th. 

The top seed in each conference had the weekend off from playing, while the second seed played at home against the seventh seed, the third seed played at home against the sixth, and the fourth played at home against the fifth. 

The NFC: 

  • First-round bye: Green Bay Packers
  • Philadelphia Eagles versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers… played in Tampa Bay on Sunday at 1:00
  • San Francisco 49ers versus the Dallas Cowboys… played in Dallas on Sunday at 4:30
  • Arizona Cardinals versus the Los Angeles Rams… played in Los Angeles on Monday at 8:15

The AFC: 

  • First-round bye: Tennessee Titans
  • Pittsburgh Steelers versus the Kansas City Chiefs… played in Kansas City on Sunday at 8:15
  • New England Patriots versus the Buffalo Bills… played in Buffalo on Saturday at 8:15
  • Las Vegas Raiders versus the Cincinnati Bengals… played in Cincinnati on Saturday at 4:30

Week 18 Final Scores

  • New England Patriots versus the Miami Dolphins (played in Miami) — Dolphins win 33-24
  • Dallas Cowboys versus the Philadelphia Eagles (played in Philadelphia) — Cowboys win 51-26
  • Green Bay Packers versus the Detroit Lions (played in Detroit) — Lions win 37-30
  • Indianapolis Colts versus the Jacksonville Jaguars (played in Jacksonville) — Jaguars win 26-11
  • Washington Football Team versus the New York Giants (played in New York) — Washington wins 22-7
  • Chicago Bears versus the Minnesota Vikings (played in Minnesota) — Vikings win 31-17
  • Carolina Panthers versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (played in Tampa Bay) — Buccaneers win 41-17
  • New Orleans Saints versus the Atlanta Falcons (played in Atlanta) — Saints win 30-20
  • Tennessee Titans versus the Houston Texans (played in Houston) — Titans win 28-25
  • Pittsburgh Steelers versus the Baltimore Ravens (played in Baltimore) — Steelers win 16-13
  • New York Jets versus the Buffalo Bills (played in Buffalo) — Bills win 27-10
  • Cincinnati Bengals versus the Cleveland Browns (played in Cleveland) — Browns win 21-16
  • Los Angeles Chargers versus the Las Vegas Raiders (played in Las Vegas) — Raiders win 35-32
  • San Francisco 49ers versus the Los Angeles Rams (played in Los Angeles) — 49ers win 27-24
  • Kansas City Chiefs versus the Denver Broncos (played in Denver) — Chiefs win 28-24
  • Seattle Seahawks versus the Arizona Cardinals (played in Arizona) — Seahawks win 38-30


Kristina Klauzinski ‘24, Staff Writer