Around the NFL: Lions Crush Packers Playoff Hopes, Seattle Squeeks In, Bills Win One for Damar, More

The final Sunday of the NFL season was a good one if you’re a Bears fan. The Bears lost to the Vikings, Lovie Smith and the Texans knocked off the Colts dramatically to give the Bears the No. 1 pick in the draft, and the Lions spoiled the Packers’ playoff hopes at Lambeau Field in primetime to cap the evening off.

Lions Spoil Packers Playoff Hopes

Lions running back Jamaal Williams has a postgame media hit to remember on the field with Stacy Dales. He called out all the national pundits for picking the Packers to win the game and shared a heartfelt tribute to his great-grandfather, to whom he dedicated his record-setting performance to.

The mood switch was hilarious and so fitting for Williams, who always gives an enjoyable soundbite when he’s in front of the camera.

Williams rushed for 72 yards on 16 carries and scored two touchdowns to break Barry Sanders’ Lions’ single-season rushing touchdown record. His backfield mate D’Andre Swift added 25 yards on the ground and caught seven passes for 61 yards.

Jared Goff completed 22-of-34 passes for 224 yards in the victory. Still, it was the other quarterback on the evening who the focus turned to with the Packers eliminated from playoff contention and their season over. Aaron Rodgers has seemingly been one foot out the door in Green Bay for the past few seasons. A losing season sets the stage for another offseason of speculation regarding Rodgers’ future in the NFL, and something Rodgers said after the game adds to the intrigue.

When players were shaking up on the field after the game clock expired, Lions receiver Jameson Williams asked Rodgers if he could have his jersey. Rodgers told the rookie receiver that he was going to “hold onto this one” before greeting former teammate Jamaal Williams with a hug.

https://twitter.com/MBFantasyLife/status/1612307397951000577?s=20&t=h0XsBMqRzXOnEhdNxaC_9w

Might Rodgers want to keep the jersey he wore in his final game as a Packer? Who knows at this point, but I’m sure we’ll be discussing this a few more times in the coming weeks and months. For now, the Packers’ season is over, and they’ll be watching the NFL playoffs from their couches next weekend, thanks to the Lions come from behind victory last night.

Seahawks Clinch Playoff Berth (with Help from the Lions)

Unfortunately for the Lions, their fate was already sealed before kickoff in Green Bay after the Seattle Seahawks beat the Rams in overtime in Seattle. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith threw for 213 yards and a touchdown as he passed Russell Wilson for the top spot on the Seahawks’ all-time single-season passing yardage list.

Smith tied the game up at 13-a-piece with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett, a beauty of a bomb from Smith:

Matt Gay and Jason Myers would trade field goals to get the game to 16-16 with just over two minutes to play, and Myers would ultimately seal the deal with a game-winning field goal in overtime after an ugly Baker Mayfield interception gave Seattle the ball.

The Seahawks’ social media team had a heck of an evening while the team anxiously awaited to see if the Lions could help them out with a win in Green Bay.

https://twitter.com/Seahawks/status/1612305702936248322?s=20&t=h0XsBMqRzXOnEhdNxaC_9w

Bills Win One for Damar

After a long week of anxiously waiting for updates on Damar Hamlin as he fought for his life in the ICU at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, the Buffalo Bills set out this weekend to win one for Damar, or as Josh Allen said on Thursday, “Play for 3.”

The game couldn’t have started any better for the Bills, who took the opening kickoff to the house as the Buffalo crowed erupted.

https://twitter.com/BuffaloBills/status/1612148627904032768?s=20&t=h0XsBMqRzXOnEhdNxaC_9w

Nyheim Hines’ kickoff return touchdown was the first Bills kick return touchdown in exactly three years and three months, another perfect tribute to Hamlin and his No. 3 jersey number.

Buffalo beat New England on Sunday, locking up the No. 1 seed in the AFC (and ending New England’s season), but more importantly, they won for Damar Hamlin who was watching the game from his hospital bed with his family.

The Bills and the NFL did this right, showing an immense amount of support for Hamlin on Sunday.

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1612479522997432320?s=20&t=h0XsBMqRzXOnEhdNxaC_9w

Extra Points

  • With Week 18 in the books, we’ve got a finalized playoff picture, and the Super Wild Card Weekend schedule has been released.
  • The Bengals victory over the Ravens on Sunday secures home-field advantage over Baltimore for their Wild Card matchup on Sunday night. If Baltimore had won, home field would have been determined by a coin flip as a result of the Bengals playing one less game than the Ravens but having a higher winning percentage on the season despite Baltimore holding the head-to-head tiebreaker.
  • https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1612452461255749632?s=20&t=h0XsBMqRzXOnEhdNxaC_9w

  • The Cowboys are heading to the playoffs, but they’re heading to Tampa Bay licking their wounds after an embarrassing loss to the Commanders on Sunday. Tom Brady is 7-0 all-time against Dallas, and the Cowboys look like a team with serious question marks as we begin the postseason. Dak Prescott has thrown 15 interceptions (tied with Davis Mills for the NFL high) in 12 games this season.
  • https://twitter.com/TheAthleticNFL/status/1612213459009130496?s=20&t=h0XsBMqRzXOnEhdNxaC_9w

  • The Lions second-half turnaround was pretty remarkable to watch. Good for Jared Goff, who has found a home in Detroit and some of the best success of his career after the Rams dumped him.
  • Congrats again to J.J. Watt and his family on his retirement from the NFL!
  • The Eagles got Jalen Hurts back and locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.
  • written by

    Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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