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NFL Week 18 predictions – who get’s playoff places?

For the first time in modern NFL history, teams will play their 17th regular season game. Here are our predictions about who will win the weekend playoffs.

While there aren’t as many game-phase playoffs promised when the league as its new 1-game schedule can still be promised, there’s a lot at stake this weekend. In addition to the seeding battle between teams that have already booked their spot for the season, there are five games that will decide who will join them in the post playoffs: we preview them here.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, 1pm EST/6pm GMT)

What the Steelers need to do to win: If Ben Roethlisberger is to extend his career by at least one more game, he needs to win this match and then hope the Jacksonville Jaguar beats the Indianapolis Colts. Pittsburgh can only control what they control and that means facing what is sure to be a tough physical game against their eternal rivals.

What the Ravens need to do to win : Lamar Jackson is likely not to return, which is already a big loss. It’s entirely possible that Baltimore’s season will end the way it started: with many players on the injury list. However, the Ravens could at least play spoilers, winning what could have been a defensive battle and capitalizing on Pittsburgh’s mistakes.

Key player: TJ Watt, outside linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday, 1pm EST/6pm GMT)

What the Colts need to do to win: appear? The Colts are a far superior team and are playing for a postseason spot rather than avoiding the worst record in the NFL. It just needs to happen, because it won’t happen, because they will set the biggest limit of the season, Jaguar will have a chance to become a crisis target for change.

What the Jaguars need to do to win: They can? Let’s face it: this game will be Jaguar’s Super Bowl if they can win it. Sure, the organization would prefer to have the first pick in this year’s draft, but no NFL team wants to fall into the pit two years in a row. That would be a sign of the franchise’s failure to capitalize on Trevor Lawrence’s landing with last year’s first overall pick.

Key player: Jonathan Taylor, running back, Indianapolis Colts

New Orleans Saints at the Atlanta Falcons (Sunday, 4.25pm EST/9.25 pm GMT)

What the Saints need to do to win:

What the Falcons need to do to win:

Key player: Matt Ryan, quarterback, Atlanta Falcons

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