If we had told you back in September that the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars would be headlining the NFL Week 18 schedule, you would no longer take us seriously.
But that’s where we are right now. The NFL announced times for Week 18’s action to conclude the 2022 regular season on January 7 and 8. In said release, the league indicated that these two teams will kick off at 8:15 PM ET on Saturday. The game will be aired on both ABC and ESPN.
From a logicial view, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Jacksonville finds itself at 8-8 following its blowout win over the Houston Texans in Week 17.
The Tennessee Titans, losers of sixth consecutive, sit at 7-9 on the season and one game behind Jacksonville. However, Mike Vrabel’s squad owns the tiebreaker. This makes their Week 18 matchup do-or-die, meaning the winner will come away with the AFC South title and earn a spot in the NFL Playoffs.
The NFL Week 18 schedule is always kept open until the week of. There’s an obvious reason for this. That is to say, capitalizing on do-or-die games as ratings bonanzas for nationally televised games.
The real ticket in this one is going to be Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars. They have now won four consecutive games with the sophomore signal caller playing at an elite clip. As for the Tennessee Titans, they’ll likely roll with Joshua Dobbs under center after he performed well in his first NFL start against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday.
NFL Week 18 schedule was full of options
There’s one playoff spot remaining in the NFC with the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers all at 8-8. Green Bay controls its own destiny, meaning a win over the Lions at home come Week 18 would send the team to the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Lions can earn that seventh spot with a win over the Packers and a Seahawks loss to the Rams.
If the league had not opted for the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars, this one would’ve made sense for Saturday night. There’s also three teams vying for the No. 1 seed in the NFC now that the Philadelphia Eagles have lost two consecutive.
They’re joined by the division-rival Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers with a shot of earning a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the NFL Playoffs. Though, it really didn’t make sense to flex Philadelphia’s game against the New York Giants to Saturday night with New York already in the playoffs and likely to rest its starters. San Francisco takes on a hapless Arizona Cardinals squad while Dallas goes up against a Washington Commanders team that was eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday.
Over in the AFC, the New England Patriots control their own destiny following Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins. They’re slated to take on the Buffalo Bills in Week 18. That game could have also been flexed to Saturday night.
Either way we spin it, Saturday night’s game in Duval is going to be absolutely lit. It’s been a good while since Jaguars fans had an opportunity to cheer their team on in January with something on the line. It would also be a pretty crazy story if the Titans were able to come away with the win and earn the AFC South title with Dobbs under center.