NFL Scores Week 18: Final Results, Playoff Standings and Picture for AFC, NFC
The NFL playoff picture is finally coming into focus. Heading into Week 18, two division titles and three playoff spots remained up for grabs.
Saturday's action had little meaning aside from playoff seeding, as the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs had already secured playoff spots.
Much more was at stake on Sunday, including the top seed in the AFC. The Tennessee Titans clinched that with a win and will now have a first-round bye to open the playoffs. The Jacksonville Jaguars, meanwhile, upset the Indianapolis Colts to throw the AFC wild-card race into chaos.
The Buffalo Bills claimed the AFC East with a win in the late afternoon. The Los Angeles Rams did the same in the NFC West, albeit in a losing effort.
On Sunday Night Football, the Las Vegas Raiders won to send themselves and the Pittsburgh Steelers into the postseason.
Below, you'll find the full results from the final week of the regular season, a look at the latest playoff-related buzz, and a preview of the upcoming playoff schedule.
Week 18 Results
Kansas City Chiefs 28, Denver Broncos 24 (Saturday)
Dallas Cowboys 51, Philadelphia Eagles 26 (Saturday)
Washington Football Team 22, New York Giants 7
Minnesota Vikings 31, Chicago Bears 17
Jacksonville Jaguars 26, Indianapolis Colts 11
Cleveland Browns 21, Cincinnati Bengals 16
Tennessee Titans 28, Houston Texans 25
Detroit Lions 37, Green Bay Packers 30
Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Baltimore Ravens 13 (OT)
New Orleans Saints 30, Atlanta Falcons 20
Miami Dolphins 33, New England Patriots 24
Seattle Seahawks 38, Arizona Cardinals 30
Buffalo Bills 27, New York Jets 10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 41, Carolina Panthers 17
San Francisco 49ers 27, Los Angeles Rams 24 (OT)
Las Vegas Raiders 35, Los Angeles Chargers 32 (OT)
AFC, NFC Standings
Tennessee Titans 12-5 (Z, Y)
Kansas City Chiefs 12-5 (Z)
Buffalo Bills 11-6 (Z)
Cincinnati Bengals 10-7 (Z)
Las Vegas Raiders 10-7 (X)
New England Patriots 10-7 (X)
Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7-1 (X)
Los Angeles Chargers 9-8
Indianapolis Colts 9-8
Miami Dolphins 9-8
Cleveland Browns 8-9
Baltimore Ravens 8-9
Denver Broncos 7-10
New York Jets 4-13
Houston Texans 4-13
Jacksonville Jaguars 3-14
Green Bay Packers 13-4 (Z, Y)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-4 (Z)
Dallas Cowboys 12-5 (Z)
Los Angeles Rams 12-5 (Z)
Arizona Cardinals 11-6 (X)
San Francisco 49ers 10-7 (x)
Philadelphia Eagles 9-8 (X)
New Orleans Saints 9-8
Minnesota Vikings 8-9
Washington Football Team 7-10
Seattle Seahawks 7-10
Atlanta Falcons 7-10
Chicago Bears 6-11
Carolina Panthers 5-12
New York Giants 4-13
Detroit Lions 3-13-1
X = clinched playoff berth
Y = first-round bye
Z = division title
Latest Playoff Buzz
Indianapolis' surprising loss opened things up for both the Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens and Steelers needed a lot of help coming into Week 18, one key factor being a Jaguars upset. With that happening, plenty hinged on the Steelers-Ravens rivalry game, which went into overtime.
Pittsburgh won on a Chris Boswell field goal late in the extra period. The Steelers victory eliminated the Colts and left the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers with a must-win (or tie) scenario on Sunday night. The Raiders and Chargers both needed a win or a tie to advance.
A tie Sunday night would have allowed both AFC West rivals to move on while eliminating Pittsburgh. They came close, but Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson kicked a 47-yard field goal at the end of overtime to eliminate Los Angeles.
The Cincinnati Bengals rested several starters—including quarterback Joe Burrow—against the Cleveland Browns. By doing so, they severely hurt their chances of taking the AFC's No. 2 seed. Cincinnati's loss leaves the Bengals with only only one guaranteed home playoff game—but they should be relatively healthy next week.
The New England Patriots won't be at home next weekend after they lost to the Miami Dolphins and the Bills won. New England needed a win and a Bills loss to claim the AFC East and got neither outcome.
During the loss, Patriots rookie defensive tackle Christian Barmore went down while trying to tackle Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. If serious, his injury could be a significant problem in the opening round.
"Barmore unable to put any weight on his right foot as he's helped off," Jim McBride of the Boston Globe tweeted.
The New Orleans Saints won't be in the postseason at all. New Orleans needed a win and a San Francisco 49ers loss to clinch a wild-card spot. The Saints got the win, but Matthew Stafford's overtime interception ensured that the New Orleans is done until the fall.
The Arizona Cardinals, meanwhile, lost to the Seattle Seahawks, which gave the NFC West to L.A.
Titans running back Derrick Henry didn't make his return from foot surgery Sunday. However, he was designated for return from injured reserve and could be back for the playoffs.
"We have some time to make that decision and we will evaluate where we are at," Titans coach Mike Vrabel told reporters Friday. "But I think that he looked good. We continue to track his speed and his mileage and volume and see how he responds. I feel good about where he is at."
With the win over the Houston Texans, the Titans will hold the AFC's lone first-round bye. This means that Henry will have two more weeks to prepare for his return. Understandably, that could have a massive impact on the conference playoff race.
Similarly, the Green Bay Packers decided not to activate cornerback Jaire Alexander for the finale against the Detroit Lions. Alexander, though, should return following Green Bay's opening-round bye.
Alexander, who has been out since Week 4 with a shoulder injury and was on the reserve/COVID-19 list, allowed an opposing passer rating of only 67.4 last season; that number was 83.7 this season. Green Bay locked up the NFC's No. 1 seed before Week 18, so there really was no need to rush Alexander back into action against Detroit.
Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari did return against the Lions, playing for the first time since tearing his ACL near the end of the 2020 regular season.
The Titans and Packers will both be off next weekend and carrying reinforcements into the divisional round.
Current Matchups for Wild Card Weekend
Bye: No. 1 Tennessee Titans
No. 7 Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs
No. 6 New England Patriots at No. 3 Buffalo Bills
No. 5 Las Vegas Raiders at No. 4 Cincinnati Bengals
Bye: No. 1 Green Bay Packers
No. 7 Philadelphia Eagles at No. 2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No. 6 San Francisco 49ers at No. 3 Dallas Cowboys
No. 5 Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 Los Angeles Rams
Full Playoff Schedule
Wild Card Round
Saturday, January 15
4:30 p.m. ET: Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals on NBC
8:15 p.m. ET: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills on CBS
Sunday, January 16
1:05 p.m. ET: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Fox
4:40 p.m. ET: San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys on CBS, Nickelodeon
8:15 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs on NBC
Monday, January 17
8:15 p.m. ET: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams on ESPN
Saturday, January 22
4:35 p.m. ET: TBD
8:15 p.m. ET: TBD
Sunday, January 23
3:05 p.m. ET: TBD
6:40 p.m. ET: TBD
Sunday, January 30
3:05 p.m. ET: AFC on CBS
6:40 p.m. ET: NFC on Fox
Super Bowl LVI
Sunday, February 13
6:30 p.m. ET on NBC
Advanced statistics from Pro Football Reference.