The regular season couldn’t have ended any other way
There was never any reason to think that Week #18 would be any different than the weeks that preceded it, and it wasn’t! It’s pretty much a fact that the Jaguars were the worst team in the league this season. I’m sure the Colts realized that fact and felt pretty good about their chances of post-season play. If you beat the worst team in the league, and you’re playoff-bound, what could be simpler? It was a gift from the man upstairs. Hold the train, stop the presses, whoa there wait just a doggone minute. When I wrote my first Aftermath this season, I stated that as long as Jonathan Taylor was driving the car, the Colts were in good shape; on the other hand, if they had to rely on Carson Wentz to carry the torch; they could forget it. Wentz and his two interceptions ended up dooming the Colts and preventing them from post-season play. All at the hands of the lowly Jaguars, the NFL’s division two team, if you will, the Colts go down in flames 26-11.
Close games and overtimes abound
Week 18 was scattered with close games. Three overtime games ruled the day. It was the Colts’ loss that opened the door for the Steelers to sneak in the back door. The Lions continued to impress by beating the Packers in Detroit. Still, it was the number one seed in the NFC, losing to a 3-14-1 Lions team. Just another one of those insane outcomes that have been the trademark of this season. The Titans barely beat the Texans (28-25). The Dolphins, always one for giving the Patriots hell, again, beat Belichik (33-24). It wasn’t enough to save coach Brian Flore’s job, though, which was a surprise, being that the Dolphins turned things around this season and are on the upswing. The Dolphins front office must have a replacement in mind already to have let Flores go.
Wrapping it up
I’ve been saying now for many weeks that the Cardinals are pretenders and will be jettisoned out of the playoffs in their first game. To prove this, they went out and got beat by a Seahawks (38-30) team that has had a very down season. The Buccaneers by beating the Panthers (41-17) and the Rams losing to the 49ers: have clinched the number two seed. They won’t have to play the Packers until the NFC Title Game if both are still in it, which should help out the Bucs chances immensely. The Chargers needed a win or a tie against the surprising Raiders to make post-season play. That didn’t happen for the Chargers, who lost in overtime (35-32), keeping the Steelers in and giving Big Ben one more stab at post-season play. This wraps up the Aftermath for the regular season. Stay tuned for reviews of the playoff games moving forward.
Click on this link to find the entire list of playoff teams 2022 and who they will be playing.