NFL scores, schedule, live Week 18 updates: No. 1 draft pick in doubt as Texans start strong, Bears stumble

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It’s finally Week 18 of the 2022 NFL season, and we’re keeping you updated on all the action and biggest storylines throughout the day. This week’s slate has some fantastic matchups and storylines, and we’re here to help you watch it unfold. Check back often to find out everything you need to know.

Week 18 schedule

Saturday

Chiefs 31, Raiders 13 (Takeaways)
Jaguars 20, Titans 16 (Takeaways)

Sunday

Ravens at Bengals, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Patriots at Bills, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Jets at Dolphins, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Panthers at Saints, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Browns at Steelers, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Vikings at Bears, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Texans at Colts, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Buccaneers at Falcons, 1 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Cardinals at 49ers, 4:25 p.m. ET (Preview)
Cowboys at Commanders, 4:25 p.m. ET (Preview)
Chargers at Broncos, 4:25 p.m. ET (Preview)
Rams at Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. ET (Preview)
Giants at Eagles, 4:25 p.m. ET (Preview)
Lions at Packers, 8:20 p.m. ET (Preview)

Bills, Pats battling

Every time the Bills have thrown a punch, the Patriots have punched back. Case and point: After Dawson Knox’s touchdown put Buffalo back on top, Davante Parker scored on the ensuing possession to tie things up at 14.

Bears (mostly) doing their job

The Bears understood the assignment: lose to the Vikings and lock up no worse than the No. 2 seed in the 2023 NFL Draft. Not only is Justin Fields not playing, but Chicago benched Nathan Peterman for Tim Boyle after three failed drives. And on his second pass, Boyle threw the ball right to the Vikings’ Patrick Peterson, whose interception set up a field goal that put Minnesota ahead 16-0.

I added “mostly” to the subhead because as I was writing this blurb, Bears rookie Velus Jones Jr. took the reverse pitch and somehow stayed in bounds as he hugged the right sideline all the way for the 42-yard touchdown. Fortunately for Chicago, its two-point conversion failed.

Pick-six!

I’m sorry Texans fans, but your team is playing some good football. Sam Ehlinger clumsily decided to throw the ball as he was being sacked, and defensive end Jonathan Greenard took full advantage by tipping the ball to himself and rumbling 39 yards for the score.

Bengals all over Ravens

With the Bengals and Ravens likely playing each other in the wild-card round next week, Baltimore is resting most of its starters and starting Anthony Brown at quarterback. It’s showed, as Brown has thrown two interceptions and the defense has allowed 17 points in just over a quarter of action.

Pats respond

The Patriots are in the playoffs with a win over the Bills, which didn’t get off to a great start with Buffalo’s kickoff return TD to open the game. But New England immediately responded, as Mac Jones and Co. drove 74 yards in nine plays and tied the game on a two-yard pass from Jones to Jakobi Meyers.

Rookie WR goes over 1,000 yards

Chris Olave, the No. 11 pick in April’s draft, joined former Ohio State teammate Garrett Wilson as the only rookie wideouts to go over 1,000 yards in the 2022 season. The accomplishment came in dramatic fashion as Olave caught the short pass, stopped on a dime — leaving his defender in the dust — and then sprinted the rest of the way for a 25-yard touchdown to put the Saints ahead.

Bad start for the Texans

The Texans jumped out to an immediate 10-0 lead, which usually would be great … except in this scenario. Currently holding the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Houston will clinch the top spot with a loss. But if it ends up beating the Colts and the Vikings defeat the Bears, then Chicago will pick first, potentially robbing Houston of the chance to take its No. 1 QB prospect.

Credit to Davis Mills and Brandin Cooks for connecting on an 11-yard touchdown, but that’s not something Texans fans want to see again today.

UNBELIEVABLE!

You just can’t make this stuff up. On the Bills’ first play since Damar Hamlin’s on-field collapse, and with Hamlin watching from the hospital, Nyheim Hines took the opening kickoff for a 96-yard touchdown! It was the perfect way for Buffalo to start based on how its last game ended, and Hamlin being able to watch just made it even more incredible.

QB revolution has arrived in AFC; NFC veterans hanging on

Consider the ages of the starting quarterbacks of the AFC’s six playoff teams entering Week 18 (from youngest to oldest): Trevor Lawrence (23), Justin Herbert (24), Lamar Jackson (26), Joe Burrow (26), Josh Allen (26) and Patrick Mahomes (27). 

Average age: 25.3 years old

Now let’s do the NFC: Brock Purdy (23), Jalen Hurts (24), Daniel Jones (25), Dak Prescott (29), Kirk Cousins (34), Tom Brady (45)

Average age: 30.0 years old

Yes, Brady heavily skews the NFC much older, but regardless, the age gap is only going to grow after Sunday’s games. There are three teams each fighting for the No. 7 seeds in their respective conferences. In the AFC, it’s the Steelers with Kenny Pickett, the Patriots with Mac Jones and the Dolphins with Tua Tagovailoa (we know he’s out for Sunday, but he’s the unquestioned starter). All three quarterbacks are just 24 years old. 

In the NFC, it’s the Lions with Jared Goff (28), the Seahawks with Geno Smith (32) and the Packers with Aaron Rodgers (39). 

The closest the gap could be between the conferences is 4.6 years; the farthest is more than six years!

So, as the road to the Super Bowl begins next week, cherish both conference’s playoff races for different reasons. In the AFC, there are quarterbacks either before or in their prime, which should provide some epic showdowns in each round. In the NFC, there are veterans looking to either add to or cement their legacy before the younger signal-callers end up taking their spotlight, too. Either way, expect theatrics on the way to Super Bowl LVII.


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