There are five teams who are still in NFL-playoff contention in the AFC who have yet to clinch a spot. Some teams control their own destiny and with a win will would automatically make it in. Other teams need a win and other teams to lose to make it in. Let’s look at what these five teams need to happen in week 18.
New England Patriots
A win over Buffalo would get the Patriots into the playoffs. Even if they lose there is still hope that they can make it in if the Jaguars, Dolphins, and Steelers all lose as well. Buffalo could rest some starters that would make it easier for the Patriots to win.
With a win over the Titans the Jaguars would make it in the playoffs for the first time since the 2017 season. Even with a loss they would have a chance of getting in if the Patriots and Dolphins both lost as well.
The Titans future is as simple as win or go home. They are trusting Josh Dobbs to get the job done with Ryan Tannehill injured and Malik Willis not appearing ready. Dobbs has been in the NFL since 2017 but has started just one game, which was last week.
A win won’t guarantee that the Dolphins make the playoffs. They need to beat the Jets and have the Patriots lose to the Bills this week as well. Miami has lost five games in a row now up to this point and will be without Tua and possibly Teddy Bridgewater.
The Steelers need a win and some other things to happen this week. Last week they needed three things to happen, and they all did, so they are still alive. This week they will also need the Dolphins and Patriots to lose.
Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Trevor_Lawrence_vs_Commanders_2022.jpg