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Five bold predictions for NFL Week 18: Titans and Jaguars both make playoffs, CeeDee Lamb writes Cowboys history

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The 2022 regular season wraps up this weekend with a full Week 18 roster running from Saturday to Sunday. Even with just one week remaining, there is still much to be determined, including the No. 1 seed in the AFC and NFC.

Here, we’ll be looking to call our shots and make a handful of bold predictions for how we see this final week of the regular season playing out. We will see a surprising team rise to No. 1. 1 overall pick to come NFL Drafta cowboys the player is making history and, of course, seeing a lot of shakeups when it comes to the playoff image.

Featured game | Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns

The Pittsburgh Steelers stay alive in the playoff conversation entering Week 18. After a last-minute road win over the crows On Sunday, Mike Tomlin’s side need a double win patriots and dolphins loss to reach the playoffs. Considering New England and Miami are both underdogs in their Week 18 matchups, this is a realistic scenario for Pittsburgh. While those pieces of the puzzle may fall into place for them, it will be the Browns who play the spoiler by upsetting them at Acrisure Stadium.

Although Cleveland was knocked out of the playoffs for a while, they still played hard throughout the streak as they continue to lay the groundwork for 2023 with Deshaun Watson, who missed most of the season due to suspension. In last week’s second win over Washington, the light bulb may have gone on. Watson threw for three touchdowns in the final two quarters of the win, more than his first four starts for the Browns combined. If he starts to look like the QB we remember from his days with the Texas and the Cleveland defense — allowing 14 points per game over the past six games (second-best in the NFL) – continues to play at a high level, they will put Pittsburgh on high alert.

Bear secure No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft

Featured game | Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings

Once the regular season is over, the Chicago Bears will officially be in as we predict they will clinch the title of No. 1. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. If the Houston Texans beat the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago falls to the hands Minnesota Vikings On Sunday, the Bears will become the No. 1 pick in this spring’s draft.

The Bears have already ruled out the quarterback Justin Fields for this game against the Vikings due to a hip injury and it will be Nathan Petermann who will end the season under center. In his career, Peterman is 1-3 as a starter and has 13 interceptions to just three touchdowns, so Chicago shouldn’t get an elite game at quarterback in Week 18, which should go up. his chances of moving up the draft board. Meanwhile, Minnesota still has a chance to move into first place. 2 seed in the NFC, so he could play most of his starters and bettors have the Vikings a 7.5 point favorite on the road, suggesting a big win.

As for the other piece of the equation, the Colts are less than a home field favorite against the Texans, so this should be considered a legitimate corner flip between these AFC South rivals. Although the Colts may have the best record, there is a statistical case to be made that they are the worst team. The Colts are last in the NFL in turnovers and saves, while Houston ranks 31st in the league in those two categories. The Texans rank 31st in points per game, while the Colts are just above them at 30th in the NFL.

Also, the Texans are 2-2-1 in divisional play this season (0-11 in all other games), so they played well against the AFC South. The Colts are currently 1-6 under Jeff on Saturday and have particularly struggled in the fourth quarter, being outscored 91-3 in that six-game losing streak.

Long story short: It’s certainly possible that Houston will directly beat the Colts until the end of the season, which opens the door for Chicago to snatch the No. 1 overall pick.

Lamb CeeDee breaks cowboys reception record

Week 18 means a lot for the Dallas Cowboys. If the dominoes fall correctly, they could not only end up as NFC East champions, but could also reach first place. 1 seed in the NFC. With that in mind, Mike McCarthy and Co. will likely give this Week 18 game a full try, which includes CeeDee Lamb. In addition to trying to help his team climb the NFC rankings, the Cowboys wide receiver has the opportunity to make history Sunday in Washington.

Lamb is 10 catches away from breaking the Cowboys’ singing season reception record. It’s currently held by Hall of Fame catcher Michael Irvin, who hauled 111 balls in 1995. While racking up double-digit catches in a single game is a daunting task, it’s something Lamb has not only done it before, but did it many times. times this season. Lamb has three games in 2022 with at least 10 receptions, and that includes doing it in two straight games heading into Week 18. Not only that, but Lamb has seen double-digit goals in eight games this season, so he sees the volume needed to have a realistic chance of breaking the record.

With that number in his sights and Dallas motivated to play his starters to move up the playoff ranks, it’s a recipe for Lamb to make history.

Packers punch ticket for the playoffs

Featured game | Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions

It’s admittedly not the “boldest” prediction of the group here, but if the Packers eliminate the the Lions to secure a playoff spot as we expect, this will be one of the most unlikely playoffs we’ve seen. According to SportsLine’s simulations, Green Bay had just a 1.1% chance of making the playoffs after starting the year 4-8. Now the Packers just need a win to punch their ticket.

Jared Goff has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL lately, with a passer rating of 113.0 and a TD-INT ratio of 12-0 since Week 13. However, he will face a secondary all also hot from the Packers who has nine interceptions on that same stretch, which is tied for the most in the NFL.

The elements should also work in Green Bay’s favor as it should be 21 degrees (and feel like 14 degrees) at launch. Goff has played three games in freezing temperatures during his career (including the playoffs). In this context, his teams are 1-2, and the quarterback has thrown more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (3) and has a completion percentage of 52 to go with a passer rating of 62, 6. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers thrived in freezing temperatures, owning a 24-9 record with a 103.6 passer rating.

At Lambeau Field, the Packers are expected to defeat their division rival and secure their place in the playoffs.

Titans and jaguars both make the playoffs

Featured game | Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Tennessee Titans

Saturday night’s game between the Titans and Jaguars may determine the AFC South winner, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the loser is ousted from playoff consideration. In fact, there is a crazy scenario where these TWO teams make it to the playoffs, which we predict will happen in Week 18.

First, Tennessee will pull off the upset and beat the Jaguars on Saturday to secure the AFC South crown. Mike Vrabel announced that Josh Dobbs will start at quarterback for the Titans, which actually gives the offense a boost as the veteran gave the passing offense a much higher ceiling than what the rookie Malik Willis brought to the table in his starts. While Derrick Henry will certainly be the focal point of Tennessee’s offense, Dobbs’ ability to throw down the field we saw against Dallas (four 20-plus-yard completions) could be the difference against a Jaguars defense that ranks 29th in the NFL in DVOA against the pass.

With Tennessee upsetting Jacksonville on Saturday, Trevor Lawrence And the rest of the Jaguars’ fate will hinge on the results of Week 18 where they would need the Patriots, Dolphins and Steelers all to lose to secure the No. 1. 7 seed. And the football gods will be kind to them because this scenario will play out exactly as they need it to, which will get them through to the playoffs. New England and Miami are the underdogs in their respective Week 18 matchups, and we explained above how inconceivable it is for Cleveland to upset Pittsburgh, so the Jaguars will have a fighting chance even if they fall on Saturday.

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