Top 10 Most Surprising NFL Teams of Week 18 (2022)Before we get to this list, yes, I know there are some teams that might not have been surprising or anything. This is kinda hard to make because some games were pointless in the grand scheme of the playoff picture, so I'm judging these teams based on the results of their game and the outcome they have from said game.
Houston had the tank of tanks. They looked like the team that would claim the prize of the first overall pick, but they just had to go for two. They won the game on a 2-point conversion. Houston, I have to ask a legitimate question: what the actual hell are you doing? You fired Lovie Smith after just one season, like David Culley last year, which raises the question: what was the point of that to begin with? What coach is going to want to coach for you if you only give them one shot? Have you seen the state of your team? No coach is going to be able to revive that team in one single season.
Dear God, I hope this is the last we see of Dan Snyder. That man ruins everything he touches. Anyway, Washington may have been eliminated, but they looked like the better team. Sam Howell outplayed Dak in a game that Washington had no business winning, but either way, they looked like they showed those flashes of talent we saw throughout the season.
This game was the complete opposite of how I imagined it would go. Dallas looked checked out and played down to their competition. Dak looked awful; the pick-6 is one thing, but only completing 14 of 37 passes for 128 yards and 1 touchdown isn't exactly inspiring confidence. The defense looked off the entire game to a THIRD STRING QUARTERBACK. And you can't even make the excuse that they had nothing to play for; they still had a shot at the NFC East and the 1 seed. No pressure, but Tampa Bay will look a lot like that Washington team you got smacked by.
Who would've thought that Jacksonville would be the ones standing atop the AFC South? It's the Titans and Colts' division to lose! Well, the Jags nearly lost it, but luckily, Josh Allen stepped up in a huge way to save their season. Jacksonville is on a bit of a hot streak right now. Trevor Lawrence is actually developing, and Doug Peterson is back in the dance. This is honestly just a testament to how awful Urban Meyer was in every way. With how relatively young this team is, they might be around for a while to come. I'm curious how they will do. I am secretly rooting for them.
Miami, congratulations on limping into the playoffs. This was one of the ugliest and worst games of football I've seen. It's up there with some of the other horrible games this season. Somehow, Skylar Thompson and Joe Flacco went head-to-head in a game with massive playoff implications. Skylar Thompson is really raw, but he will get his shot in the playoffs since Tua is out in concussion protocol. Honestly, don't be surprised if he retires with all he's been through this season alone. Just be grateful you were playing the Jets, who were somehow even worse. Yinzers everywhere are kicking and screaming because this Dolphins team made it in while the Steelers did not.
All I need to say is Brandon Staley is an idiot. You knew before the game that you were locked into the 5th seed with nothing to play for. So riddle me this, why the hell would you play your starters? You lost Mike Williams and Joey Bosa because you were a moron. It didn't matter anyway because you lost the game. Anyway, I'm just gonna say it: Brandon Staley should be on the hot seat. Yet if they lose to Duval, Justin Herbert will get blamed regardless of how he plays.
Detroit had nothing to play for thanks to the Rams' loss, but the way they looked, you wouldn't know that. They actually did have something to play for: pride and respect. They may have been eliminated, but they weren't about to let Green Bay make the dance. It was a gritty win, never letting up. Jamaal Williams broke Barry Sanders' single-season TD record set in 1991. The Lions, at the end of the day, had more heart and composure, and they weren't afraid to twist the knife going for that 4th down pass. The Lions demanded respect, and they certainly earned it.
Who needs Russ? It may have been an ugly win against a Rams team that was checked out from the beginning of the season, but Geno Smith has made the playoffs. Seattle may have had a rough stretch there for a while, but it doesn't matter—they were the ones left standing at the end of the day. Imagine being told at the beginning of the season that Seattle would make the playoffs and Russell Wilson wouldn't? You would've been considered crazy. I doubt they go anywhere, especially playing the buzzsaw that is the 49ers, but at least they made it.
Green Bay losing an important game at Lambeau in January. It's almost like they made the playoffs after all. Green Bay had their chance; they controlled their own destiny, and they failed. The Lions were a thorn in their side all game long, and Rodgers wasn't able to deliver in the end. Additionally, Rasul Douglas got unnecessary roughness for batting the ball away from the Lions' long snapper at the end of the half when they were going to kick a field goal. But if you thought that was stupid, then enter Quay Walker, who shoved a Detroit Athletic Trainer, which not only drew a penalty but also earned him an ejection because of it—for the 2nd time this season. Cry about it like a baby and whine in the tunnel all you want; there are no excuses for your actions. What an absolute clown. Easy Lolcow of the week. Congratulations, Packers, you failed to beat the Lions at your place. At least you didn't lose to the Niners again? Also, enjoy as Aaron Rodgers ponders his future with the team. ...more
There's no denying the Titans were in absolute freefall mode coming into this game. Yet they managed to hang around and make this game interesting, with journeyman backup Josh Dobbs. At least it was interestingly sloppy on both sides. To be fair, this was a Titans team injured to hell and back, and for a while, they looked like they were going to get away with it and sneak into the playoffs. That is, until Jacksonville stepped up and got a fumble recovery for a TD. The Titans had a shocking 7-game losing streak to end the season, and Todd Downing was a huge reason why. He deserved to get canned for that. Sorry, Titans, you can't save yourself this time. You blew this division that was basically gift-wrapped for you. The Tennessee Titans did not deserve to make the playoffs whatsoever. The Football Gods showed mercy.