Benchwarmers and Breaks - Week 18 The Unexpected Bye Week

Benchwarmers and Breaks - Week 18 The Unexpected Bye Week

The NFL's Week 18 has turned into a bizarre bye week bonanza that even the most imaginative minds in football couldn't have predicted. You remember the hullabaloo surrounding the extension of the regular season to 17 games in 2021? Players were up in arms, rightfully so, about the toll on their bodies, while owners were practically drooling over the prospect of another week of cash cow action. And yet, here we are, with Week 18 feeling more like a well-deserved siesta for some teams.

Take the Baltimore Ravens, for instance. Lamar Jackson, the man who's been juking defenders and making highlight reels all season, is chilling on the sidelines against Pittsburgh. Why, you ask? Oh, they've already snagged the AFC's top seed. Tyler Huntley gets the nod instead. The Niners are on the same wavelength, giving Brock Purdy a break as they've locked in their spot in the NFC. Hello, Sam Darnold against the Rams!

But wait, there's more. The Los Angeles Rams, destined for either the 6th or 7th seed, are essentially on vacation. Most of their key players are enjoying some R&R, except for Puka Nacua, who's just a mere 29 yards away from clinching the rookie receiving record. I guess even rest can't stop the pursuit of glory. Meanwhile, Carson Wentz is strutting his stuff, seizing the spotlight in L.A.

Hold up, Joe Flacco fans, you won't be seeing your king this weekend. The Cleveland Browns, securely holding onto the No. 5 seed, are giving Jeff Driskel the nod. Yes, you heard that right. And Patrick Mahomes? Well, he's taking a breather too, with the Chiefs already locking down the AFC West. Blaine Gabbert is dusting off the cobwebs and stepping into the limelight for the first time since 2018.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are still crucial showdowns on the horizon. The AFC South, NFC South, and AFC East are all up for grabs this Sunday. But let's be honest, it's not the nail-biting, drama-packed final week that NFL owners envisioned. Who knew Week 18 would turn into an unintentional bye week extravaganza? The football gods sure have a sense of humor, and we're just along for the ride. Keep those recliners comfy, folks, and let the drama (or lack thereof) unfold.
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