NFL Week 18 highlights: Cowboys-Commanders, Cardinals-49ers more
The 2022 NFL regular season comes to a close Sunday with a jam-packed Week 18 slate — and we’ve got you covered from start to finish with every must-see moment from around the league.
The stakes are high, as there is one more playoff berth up for grabs in the NFC.
Related: 2022 NFL playoff picture: Which teams are in, who’s still in the hunt
Here are the top plays from Sunday’s slate!
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Commanders
The Commanders‘ first touchdown of the game only took two plays. In his first NFL start, QB Sam Howell found Terry McLaurin for a 16-yard score. Just like that, Washington took a 7-0 lead over Dallas right out of the gate.
Washington extend its lead, 13-0, after Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller picked off Dak Prescott and took it 29 yards to the house immediately after the Cowboys intercepted Howell on the previous drive.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Setting the tone early
The Rams defense came out swinging in this one, picking off Geno Smith‘s pass on the Seahawks‘ own side of the field.
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
The Cardinals went 80 yards in two plays and made it look easy. Arizona took a 6-0 lead thanks to A.J Green‘s 77-yard opening-drive touchdown from David Blough.
What can’t he do?
The 49ers responded with a quick score of their own, as Christian McCaffrey came up with a smooth 21-yard score. That put San Francisco in the lead, 7-6, after the Cardinals missed the extra point after their score.
Arizona came up with a big-time interception in the second quarter, which set up a quick score from Niners running back Elijah Mitchell to put the home team on top, 14-6.
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos
Making a statement
The Chargers came out strong on their opening drive, as Justin Herbert hit go-to target Keenan Allen for a 14-yard touchdown to kick off the scoring.
Then, Broncos running back Latavius Murray tied things up with a short 2-yard rush on the Broncos ensuing drive.
The Chargers took over in the second quarter, 14-7, when Herbert hit tight end Gerald Everett for a short score.
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead after a field goal and a short scamper from Boston Scott, which was set up by a monster 37-yard pickup from star receiver A.J. Brown.
Stay tuned for updates!
Buffalo Bills 35, New England Patriots 23
For No. 3!
The Bills, which took the field for the first time since safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during Monday Night Football, came up huge on their first play of the game after having just one team practice this past week.
Nyheim Hines took the kickoff 96 yards to the house, bringing Bills fans to their feet.
Jakobi Meyers came up big for the Patriots late in the first quarter, reeling in Mac Jones‘ pass in the corner of the end zone for a jaw-dropping 2-yard score to tie things up.
Bills in business
Buffalo tight end Dawson Knox came up with the go-ahead touchdown for the Bills early in the second quarter, as the home team took a 14-7 lead.
The Pats knotted things up once again after Jones tossed his second score of the first half, this time to DeVante Parker.
Wild series of events
The Bills’ last drive of the first half ended in a turnover, as Josh Allen was picked off by Devin McCourty. Buffalo returned the favor on New England’s opening drive of the second half, picking off Jones’ pass just outside the red zone.
The Bills weren’t able to capitalize on the turnover, however, as Devin Singletary fumbled two plays later on Buffalo’s own 11-yard line. The Patriots took their first lead of the game, 17-14, after knocking in a field goal on the ensuing drive.
New England’s lead was gone in no time, however, as Hines came up with his second touchdown of the game, this time a whopping 101-yard kickoff return that put Buffalo back on top, 21-17.
The Bills extended their lead to double digits, 28-17, late in the third quarter after Allen connected with John Brown for a monster 42-yard touchdown.
New England gave Buffalo a run for its money in the fourth quarter after Parker came up with a 26-yard touchdown to make it a five-point game, but the Bills still had one more trick up their sleeve: Stefon Diggs.
The Bills wideout reeled in a jaw-dropping 49-yard score to secure the home victory, 35-23, after an emotional week.
Houston Texans 32, Indianapolis Colts 31
On a roll
The Texans jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead over the Colts after Davis Mills found Brandin Cooks for a touchdown on Houston’s first possession. Then, a costly Indianapolis fumble resulted in a short field goal for the road team.
Keeping it close
A wide-open Michael Pittman Jr. reeled in a short touchdown pass from Sam Ehlinger to keep the Texans within arm’s reach, 10-7, late in the first quarter.
The Texans fumbled early in the second quarter, coughing up the ball in the red zone.
The Colts recovered, but things quickly took a turn. On the next play, Ehlinger’s pass was picked off by Houston’s Jonathan Greenard and returned 39 yards to the house. Just like that, the Texans took a double-digit lead, 17-7.
Neck and neck
The Colts kicked off the second-half scoring, thanks to a 15-yard rushing score from Zack Moss. The Texans answered with a touchdown of their own, as Mills found Jordan Akins for a 19-yard score.
Then, Indy made it a three-point game late in the third quarter with a clutch 27-yard interception-turned-touchdown.
Indianapolis wouldn’t go down without a fight, however. Ehlinger found tight end Mo Alie-Cox for a short touchdown to give the Colts their first lead of the game, 28-24. Then, the Colts added a field goal to extend their lead, 31-24.
The Texans got the last word, however. Akins came down with a dazzling 28-yard touchdown grab from Mills on fourth-and-20 with less than a minute to play, capping off a 14-play drive with the game-winning score.
Cincinnati Bengals 27, Baltimore Ravens 16
Finding a rhythm
The Bengals‘ opening possession against the Ravens was a lengthy 17-play drive that resulted in a field goal after Joe Burrow & Co. came up just short — but not for a lack of effort.
Cincinnati extended its lead to 10-0 to close out the first quarter, thanks to a goal-line score from Joe Mixon.
The Bengals defense came up with its second interception of the game on the first play of the second quarter. The turnover resulted in six points, as Burrow tossed his 35th touchdown of the season — a Bengals single-season record.
Baltimore on the board
The Ravens punched in a touchdown, courtesy of Kenyan Drake, just ahead of the break to make it a 10-point game, 17-7.
The Ravens unraveled in the final minute of the first half, as third-string QB Anthony Brown fumbled the ball at the goal line, and Joseph Ossai recovered the ball in the end zone for the Bengals. Just like that, it was 24-7 at halftime.
Then, Baltimore added three second-half field goals and Cincinnati added one, and things ended there, 27-16.
Minnesota Vikings 29, Chicago Bears 13
After the Bears went three-and-out on their opening drive, the Vikings capitalized on their first possession. Kirk Cousins connected with Adam Thielen on a short touchdown pass to put the road team on top early, 6-0.
Ground game strong
After Dalvin Cook went down with an apparent injury in the second quarter, backup Alexander Mattison punched one in for the Vikings to extend their lead to 13-0.
Not how they drew it up
Tim Boyle checked in for backup QB Nathan Peterman and immediately threw an interception on his first drive for Chicago. The turnover resulted in three quick points for the Vikings after a short field goal, extending the shutout to 16-0.
The Bears picked up their first points of the day on a reverse play from wide receiver Velus Jones Jr., who took off 42 yards for the score late in the second quarter. It was a 10-point game, 16-6, after a failed two-point attempt.
The close game was short-lived, however, as the Vikings opened the second half with a touchdown drive, Mattison’s second score of the day. Just like that, it was 23-6 early in the third quarter.
For good measure
The Bears added a fourth-quarter score early in the final frame, as Cole Kmet powered through the Vikings’ defense, but it wasn’t enough to spark a comeback. Minnesota added two more field goals en route to its double-digit win, 29-13.
Pittsburgh Steelers 28, Cleveland Browns 14
The Steelers were this close to taking an early lead at home, but the Browns defense had other plans. Najee Harris was denied at the goal line, and lost the ball in the process, which Cleveland scooped up.
Browns bounce back
Browns tight end David Njoku came up with the first score of the day, cashing in for a 10-yard score late in the second quarter to give Cleveland a 7-0 edge.
Kenny Pickett put the Steelers on the board late in the second quarter, connecting with George Pickens for a 31-yard score to tie the game. Then, the home team added a field goal just ahead of the break to extend its lead to 10-7.
Harris punched in a 4-yard score late in the third quarter to extend the Steelers’ lead, 20-7, but Nick Chubb fired back with a receiving touchdown for the Browns early in the fourth quarter to make it a six-point game, 20-14.
Derek Watt came up with a late score for Pittsburgh to extend the home team’s lead to 28-14 after a monster pickup from Connor Heyward moved the sticks. Things ended there, but the Steelers were eliminated from the playoffs nonetheless.
Miami Dolphins 11, New York Jets 6
The Jets gained some momentum in the second quarter thanks to star rookie Garrett Wilson, who joins Saints wideout Olave as the first pair of receivers from the same school (Ohio State) to top 1,000 yards as rookies in NFL history.
The big gain helped move Miami downfield to pick up the game-tying field goal ahead of halftime. Both teams traded off second-half field goals before the Dolphins knocked in a 50-yard field goal in the game’s final seconds to secure the win.
Atlanta Falcons 30, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Tom Brady found tight end Kyle Rudolph for an 8-yard score on the Buccaneers‘ opening drive to take an early lead over the Falcons, 7-0.
Falcons rookie tight end MyCole Pruitt came up with his third touchdown of the season late in the first quarter to knot things up. It was also rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder‘s first passing score of his NFL career.
Then, Atlanta took a three-point lead, 10-7, to close out the first quarter after adding a field goal on their next drive. Tampa Bay returned the favor with a field goal of its own midway through the second quarter to tie things up once again.
Just ahead of the break, Russell Gage reeled in a short touchdown pass from backup QB Blaine Gabbert, who checked in for Brady after the veteran signal-caller was taken out of the game, as the Bucs are already locked into the playoffs.
Then, the Falcons added a field goal early in the second half to make things a one-possession game, 17-13.
Atlanta added back-to-back second-half scores, courtesy of Olamide Zaccheaus and Cordarrelle Patterson, and a late field goal to take a double-digit lead over the Bucs, 30-17, that the Falcons held on to until the end.
Carolina Panthers 10, New Orleans Saints 7
Andy Dalton hit superstar first-year receiver Chris Olave for a smooth 25-yard touchdown on the Saints‘ opening drive, good for a quick 7-0 lead over the Panthers.
Securing the win
Panthers guard Michael Jordan came up with a crucial fumble recovery in the end zone to tie the game in the third quarter. Carolina went on to secure the win, 10-7, with a last-second field goal as the clock expired.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (8:20 p.m. ET)
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