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NFL Week 18 Games Define Playoff Spots

The NFL season has finally come to an end, with some exciting games taking place on Sunday. The playoff matchups for next weekend have been set after some surprising results in Week 18. The league and its teams have made it almost to the finish line, overcoming several COVID-19 issues along the way.

Colts Upset by Jaguars to End Their Season

On Sunday afternoon, the Indianapolis Colts blew a chance to go to the playoffs in an embarrassing 26-11 defeat to the AFC’s worst team, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts controlled their own destiny and just needed to win to secure a playoff berth. Not only did the Jaguars spoil the playoff hopes for the Colts, but they also secured the number-one pick in the 2022 NFL draft. 

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Colts QB Carson Wentz struggled in this game, completing 17 of 29 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked six times by the Jacksonville defense and threw an interception in the loss. The Jaguars were also able to contain the NFL’s leading rusher RB Jonathan Taylor, holding him to just 77 yards on the ground. Indianapolis ends the season with a 9-8 record.

49ers Win in Overtime to Secure a Playoff Berth

The San Francisco 49ers assured themselves a playoff spot with their 27-24 win over the Los Angeles Rams in overtime. With Los Angeles already making the playoffs before Sunday’s game, it was thought they might rest some of their starters for this game, but the Rams had everyone on the field for this matchup. 

For the Rams, QA Matthew Stafford threw for 238 yards and three touchdowns but also had three interceptions on Sunday. Cooper Kupp again led the team in receiving with 118 yards on seven receptions and two touchdowns. 

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo led the game-winning drive in overtime on the first possession of the extra period, which ended with a 24-yard field goal by Robbie Gould. With two minutes remaining in OT, Matthew Stafford threw a deep pass on first down that was intercepted by Ambry Thomas to secure the victory for San Francisco. The 49ers will travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon in the NFC Wildcard Playoffs.

Steelers Clinch Unlikely Playoff Berth in OT

Before the start of yesterday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Steelers had a 5% chance of making the playoffs as they needed a win along with lots of help from other teams yesterday. They needed the Colts to lose to the Jaguars and the Sunday night game between the Raiders and Chargers to not end in a tie. Surprisingly, all those things happened yesterday as the Steelers secured the seventh and final seed in the AFC.

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In what everyone thought would be Ben Roethlisberger’s final NFL game, he led them on the game-winning drive in overtime to secure the 16-13 victory. After Baltimore punted in the first possession of the OT, the Steelers moved the ball down to the Ravens 41 yard line, and on 4th and 8, he hooked up with Ray-Ray McCloud for a ten-yard gain that would put them in field goal range. After a big 15 yard run by Najee Harris got them down to the Baltimore 16, Chris Boswell kicked the deciding 36-yard field goal to give the Steelers the win.

LB TJ Watt tied the NFL sack record for a single season in the second quarter, bringing his season total to 22.5. He shares the record with the Giants’ Michael Strahan, who achieved the record in 2001. Pittsburgh will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs on Sunday night in the AFC Wildcard playoffs.

Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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