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2022 NFL Week 18 Takeaways

By Jeff Stinger

We’ve reached the final week of the 2022 NFL regular season, and what a fantastic week it truly was. Playoff lives were decided down to the very last play of the final game of the campaign, and we’re here to wrap up all the biggest happenings from Week 18 as we head full steam into the Super Wild Card Weekend.

Nitrobetting is ready to equip its bettors with the latest news, NFL odds, and special features for the entire duration of the 2022 NFL season. Let’s briefly recap the most notable happenings from Week 18 with our three key takeaways from this week’s action.

Top Takeaways from 2022 NFL Week 18

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Prayers for Damar Answered

Week 17 had a dark shadow cast over it with the frightening injury suffered by Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin, which prompted the Bills-Bengals game to be canceled and to further muddy up the AFC playoff scene. Thankfully, Hamlin is on his road to recovery as we speak and the Bills may have been blessed by their young defender during their season finale.

Buffalo prevailed victorious over New England Sunday, 35-23, with an electric performance by kick returner Nyheim Hines, who became only the third player in NFL history with two kicks returned for touchdowns in a single game. Not only did the Bills lock in the No. 2 seed in the AFC, but they also eliminated the Patriots from playoff contention.

Dolphins and Jags Invited to the Big Dance

Entering the final week on a five-game losing streak and with their starting QB’s health still in question, the Dolphins did just enough the beat the Jets, 11-6, to make the postseason. Miami got the help it also needed by way of the Patriots’ loss to the Bills mentioned earlier. The Fins are now hoping that their starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, is ready to suit up for their third and final meeting of the season against mighty Buffalo in the Wild Card round.

The Titans also had a five-game losing streak heading into Week 18 but, unlike the Dolphins, they were not able to dig out of the hole they fell into. Instead, the Jacksonville Jaguars capped off their late-season push for the postseason with a 20-16 win on Saturday over Tennessee to capture the AFC South title and make the playoffs for the first time in six years. Jacksonville head coach Doug Pederson deserves plenty of Coach of the year votes after turning the Jags from the laughingstock of the previous season to a playoff team in his first year in Duval.

Cheeseheads Sent Packing

The Sunday Night Football showdown between the Lions and the Packers had all the makings for a spectacular regular-season finale and it did not disappoint. Although Detroit was eliminated from contention following the Seahawks’ win earlier in the afternoon, the boys from the Motor City never lacked motivation in denying Green Bay from making the playoffs, either.

Stud running back Jamaal Williams scored two rushing TDs as the Lions stunned the Packers in Lambeau, 20-16. With that upset, Seattle overtakes Green Bay for the final NFC Wild Card spot and the Lions were more than happy to have done the Seahawks a favor whilst also finishing the season at 9-8; their first campaign with a winning record in half a decade.

The future is bright for these feisty Lions, whereas the Packers’ own outlook for the next season is even bleaker. An evidently exasperated Aaron Rodgers walked out of Lambeau Field in arms with long-time teammate Randall Cobb, which is a foreboding image of what could be Rodgers’ final season not only in Green Bay but even possibly the sport of football altogether.

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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.

READ MORE: 2022 NFL Week 18 Odds, Overview & Picks