Former Alabama QBs Playoff Hopes Dependent on Week 18 Results
Three former Alabama quarterbacks each find their playoff hopes and positioning depending on their teams' performances in Week 18 as well as that of some other teams.
The quarterback in the best position is Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. If the Eagles win on Sunday against the New York Giants, the Philadelphia will secure the first seed in the NFC, which includes a first round bye, as well as at least tying the best record in the NFL this season. Hurts missed the last two games due to a shoulder injury, which resulted in Philadelphia falling from 13-1 to 13-3. Now, the Eagles are in a fight with the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East crown, in which if they lose and the Cowboys win, the Eagles will fall all the way from first to fifth in the NFC.
Mac Jones and the New England Patriots are in the next best position, as because of their Week 17 win over the Miami Dolphins, they are in a win-and-in situation in Week 18. New England is barely hanging onto the final spot in the AFC playoff picture with an 8-8 record and will have to defeat its division rival Buffalo Bills to officially claim it. The Dolphins and the Pittsburgh Steelers both also have an 8-8 record, so a loss on Sunday will likely result in the Patriots not getting in unless the other two teams lose as well.
In the worst position is Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins, mainly because of their 23-21 loss to the Patriots last week. The biggest problem entering their Week 18 matchup against the New York Jets isn't that Miami is coming in on a five game losing streak that put them in this situation in the first place, but that Tagovailoa is still in concussion protocol and might not play. So, along with being out last week and giving up control of the final playoff spot to the Patriots, Tagovailoa might not even be able to help his team attempt to take the spot back.
The Patriots play the Bills on Sunday, January 8, 2022 at noon CT and the Eagles play the Giants at 3:25 p.m. CT.