The final week of the 2021 NFL season is upon us as 2022 gets underway.
Fans are in for Week 18 action for the first time and the drama is real again even with the added game.
The NFL has expanded the schedule to end the regular season this year.
There are two Saturday games in addition to the full slate of games Sunday capped off with one final primetime contest.
That final primetime game was just scheduled and carries plenty of postseason importance.
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) January 3, 2022
The Los Angeles Chargers are squaring off with the Las Vegas Raiders with a spot in the postseason on the line.
Playoff Implications In Week 18
The Chargers currently hold the seventh and final spot in the AFC at 9-7.
The Raiders are on the outside looking in with the same record.
That sets up a win-and-in scenario for both teams.
A bit of chaos could ensue in the AFC playoff picture if the Indianapolis Colts lose in Week 18, but a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars would be an absolute shock.
That should mean the Chargers and Raiders are playing for the final spot by the time the primetime game rolls around.
The Saturday games feature some notable games in terms of playoff seeding.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 3, 2022
The Kansas City Chiefs still want to earn the AFC’s top seed and will have a chance to do so against Denver Broncos squad officially eliminated from the playoffs.
The Philadelphia Eagles could jump up a spot too in the primetime showdown with the Dallas Cowboys.
One missed opportunity was a potential winner-take-all game featuring the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals taking care of business over the Chiefs allowed them to instead clinch the AFC North on Sunday.
The first Week 18 ever should be fun and filled with plenty of drama before another exciting postseason gets underway.