Eleven teams have already punched their ticket to the postseason. The final three playoff spots will be determined in Week 18.
Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and more
With no Thursday or Monday Night Football during the final week of the regular season, it will be a jam-packed weekend of football that will determine the final playoff teams, division winners and seeding. Oh, and the draft order.
Here’s a look at what’s ahead this week, beginning with a Saturday doubleheader:
NFL Week 18 Saturday Matchups
The Kansas City Chiefs opened the final week of the regular season with a 28-24 win over the Denver Broncos. With the victory, the Chiefs improved to 12-5, ensuring the defending AFC champions of either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed.
With the Chiefs trailing 21-20 in the fourth quarter, Melvin Ingram forced a fumble by Melvin Gordon, which Nick Bolton recovered and returned 86 yards for the touchdown with 7:42 remaining.
Patrick Mahomes completed 27 of 44 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 54 yards on nine carries. Mecole Hardman had 103 yards on eight catches.
Gordon ran for 110 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries for the Broncos, who finished the season at 7-10.
Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys ended their regular season with a standout performance, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 51-26 in a statement away win at Lincoln Financial Field.
Prescott ran the show by throwing for 295 passing yards and five touchdowns, four of them in the first half. Prescott found offensive weapons Dalton Schultz and Cedrick Wilson twice each.
The five touchdowns brought Prescott to 37 on the season, giving him the most in Cowboys history. Ezekiel Elliott also turned in a typically solid shift, rushing for 87 yards but no touchdowns.
The Gardner Minshew-led Eagles didn’t roll over, as he managed 186 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
In the end, the Cowboys’ offense overwhelmed Philadelphia as they put up 50 points for the second time this season.
NFL Week 18 Sunday Early Afternoon Matchups
The final Sunday of the regular season features seven games kicking off at 1 p.m. ET.
The Indianapolis Colts can clinch a playoff spot with a road victory over the 2-14 Jacksonville Jaguars. The Titans need a win over the Texans to wrap up the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Bengals still have a chance at the top seed thanks to an AFC-best 8-3 conference record, but they'll need a win over the Cleveland Browns, plus losses by the Chiefs and Titans. The Ravens host the Steelers, with both teams still clinging to slim playoff hopes.
In games that do not have postseason implications, the Green Bay Packers take on the Detroit Lions having already secured the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Minnesota Vikings take on the Chicago Bears, and the New York Giants host the Washington Football Team.
NFL Week 18 Sunday Late Afternoon Matchups
The San Francisco 49ers secured the final wild card spot in the NFC with an exciting overtime win over the Los Angeles Rams. Had the 49ers lost, the New Orleans Saints would have reached the playoffs following their triumph over the Atlanta Falcons.
A loss put the Rams in danger of losing their spot atop the NFC West. The Seattle Seahawks provided some help, though, upsetting the Arizona Cardinals and earning the Rams the division title.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers end the regular season as the No. 2 seed in the NFC following their convincing victory over the Carolina Panthers.
The Buffalo Bills clinched their second straight AFC East title with a win over the New York Jets, while the New England Patriots are cemented as a wild card team following their road defeat against the Miami Dolphins.
Sunday Night Football: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
The final game of the regular season essentially could be the first playoff game of the season. In a matchup between the 9-7 Chargers and 9-7 Raiders, it’s win and you’re in. It should be noted that losses by the Steelers and Colts on Sunday could send the Raiders to the playoffs even with a loss to the Chargers.
Barring that unlikely scenario, the winner of this matchup will secure the final spot in the postseason. Check out the full 2021 Week 18 NFL schedule in the table above.
Watch all Week 18 games online at FuboTV (free trial here).