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The 2023 NFL Playoffs. Photo via Twitter/Bleacher Report
The 2023 NFL Playoffs. Photo via Twitter/Bleacher Report
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NFL Week 18: Don’t remember the Titans; Mahomes MVP?

The first week of January 2023 wrapped up the NFL’s 18-week regular season. But, before we get into this weekend’s results — Tonight, the College Football Playoff championship game between TCU and Georgia starts at 4:30 p.m. at SoFi Stadium on ESPN. Don’t miss it.

We learned five things after NFL’s Week 18 kicked off Saturday morning and continued into Sunday evening with a nightcap game between Detroit and Green Bay.

1. Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes: MVP. This kid continues to amaze me. Mahomes’ instincts, leadership qualities and passing abilities are a combination of skills few players possess in the league.

2. Las Vegas Raiders: They quit. Look, no team blew as many leads as the Raiders this year. The team held leads of 13, 17, 20 and 23 points and lost them all (NFL record), some late in the fourth quarter. Please don’t let me remind Raiders fans of Baker Mayfield’s 98-yard winning drive — with no timeouts remaining — for the Rams, trailing Las Vegas 16-3 in the fourth quarter.

3. Tennessee Titans: What the hell happened? Last year’s top seed in the AFC, the Titans were bounced out by future AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals. And despite all the bad mojo within that organization, Tennessee still had a chance to win the division. Earlier in the season, the Titans traded AJ Brown to the Eagles, a move equivalent to the Britney Griner trade. The following week, the Titans’ owner fired the general manager responsible for the transaction. The Titans’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill is like peanut brittle, making the Titans one-dimensional with star running back Derrick Henry. Don’t remember the Titans…

4. Trevor Lawrence and Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags needed a miracle and got one after winning the division in a win-or-go-home matchup against the Titans. Lawrence, a top draft choice in ’21 from Clemson, improved every week. Jacksonville deserved to win the division. Now a rematch with the Chargers.

5. The NFL RULES. No other sport brings and connects people like the NFL. So say what you want, but we still watch.

The NFL Playoffs: It’s crunch time! Win and advance! Lose and go home!

Saturday

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers

Point spread: 49ers -10 (49ers favored to win by more than 10 points, otherwise Seahawks cover)
Moneyline: 49ers -500 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $12 total); Seahawks +300 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $40 total)
Total scoring Over/Under: 43.5 points scored by both teams combined

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Point spread: Chargers -1.5 (Chargers favored to win by more than 1.5 points, otherwise Jaguars cover)
Moneyline: Chargers -125 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $18 total); Jaguars +100 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $20 total)
Total scoring Over/Under: 47 points scored by both teams combined

Sunday

Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills

Point spread: Bills -10.5 (Bills favored to win by more than 10.5 points, otherwise Dolphins cover)
Moneyline: Bills -556 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $11.80 total); Dolphins +375 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $47.50 total)
Total scoring Over/Under: 44.5 points scored by both teams combined

New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings        

Point spread: Vikings -3 (Vikings favored to win by more than 3 points, otherwise Giants cover)
Moneyline: Vikings -154 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $16.49 total); Giants +120 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $23 total)
Total scoring Over/Under: 47.5 points scored by both teams combined

Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Point spread: Bengals -6 (Bengals favored to win by more than 6 points, otherwise Ravens cover)
Moneyline: Bengals -278 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $13.60 total); Ravens +205 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $30.50 total)
Total scoring Over/Under: 43.5 points scored by both teams combined

Monday

Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Point spread: Cowboys -3 (Cowboys favored to win by more than 3 points, otherwise Buccaneers cover)
Moneyline: Cowboys -154 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $16.49 total); Buccaneers +120 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $22 total)
Total scoring Over/Under: 45.5 points scored by both teams combined

— Point spreads and money lines by Fox Bet.

Other bits

…The NFL coaching firing carousel came calling for some teams after the season’s final games. OUT: Houston Texans’ Lovie Smith and Arizona Cardinals’ Kiff Kingsbury. More to come…

…Aaron Rodgers will retire.

…The first responders who attended to stricken Bills’ DB Damar Hamlin on Monday Night Football should be recognized for saving that young man’s life.

…Super Bowl LVII will be played at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Join us on the radio for Race and Sports Radio at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings at The Mightier 1090 AM ESPN Radio! 

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