Monday Recap, Week 18

The 2022 NFL Regular Season is over. All 14 teams have qualified for the playoffs and we’re getting ready for the second season. But before we move ahead, let’s look back at a few of the takeaways from the final week of the NFL’s 2022 Regular Season.

The NFL’s Solution is as fair as it can be and still tough

There is no way to look at the Bills-Bengals game that will never happen without acknowledging the outcome would have impacted the playoffs and seeding. With no clear path to play the game and keep the post-season as scheduled, the NFL did what it could. That means the Bills, who entered that game atop the AFC, slide to the No. 2 seed because they haven’t played as many games as Kansas City. The Bengals won Sunday, avoiding a difficult scenario of have the same number of wins and being swept by the Ravens and yet edging them for the division title. We’ll still likely see an AFC Championship Game on a neutral field as well. All this is shaping up to be an interesting post-season.

In the end, it’s good to be from Florida

Early in the season, New York was dominating. While the Bills and Giants still made the playoffs, we saw the Jets fall off and miss the playoffs. Instead, in the end, it’s all three Florida Teams that make the field. The Jaguars won Saturday, securing the AFC South. The Buccaneers, though it was a struggle, captured the NFC South. And in the final team to make the AFC field, the Miami Dolphins held on with their third string quarterback to sneak into the playoffs.

Mike Tomlin doesn’t get enough credit

Tomlin has never had a losing season as the Steelers’ coach. It’s an impressive and seemingly incredible achievement. This season was perhaps his biggest test with a new quarterback and tough schedule. For a while mid-season it looked like the Steelers would finish below .500. Most people, myself included, predicted the Steelers would fall below .500. And yet, the team won Sunday, in fact won its last four games, to finish 9-8. It’s an impressive achievement.

And now, my picks for the 2022 NFL Awards.

NFL MVP: Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles—Hurts has had a magnificent season. This award is about how valuable you are to your team. The Eagles are 14-1 with Hurts, 0-2 without him. That 0-2 stretch while he was injured to end the season just cements the award for him in my eyes.

Coach of the Year: Brian Daboll, New York Giants—Look, there is no shortage of candidates for this award. You could make the case for a number of folks. I’m going with Daboll, who turned the Giants around and made the most of a depleted roster. The Giants finished 9-7-1 and, despite losing Sunday, will be the No. 6 seed in the playoffs. It’s quite an achievement.

Rookie of the Year: Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons—It was an interesting year for rookie contributors. We saw some decent receivers, a couple quarterbacks and a couple tight ends who contributed. We also saw a few great running back contributions. Breece Hall would have gotten this award had he not gotten injured. I loved what Ken Walker III did, too. But Allgeier, toiling on a struggling offense, ran for 1,035 yards and averaged more than 4.9 yards per carry. To me, he gets the edge.

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.

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