The NFL released its full 2022 Week 18 schedule on Monday afternoon, giving a day and time to the Buffalo Bills’ regular-season finale against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium. That game will kick off at 1:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, January 8.
The game will carry significant playoff implications, particularly if the Bills can win tonight on Monday Night Football to move one step closer to the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. In the event of a Bills win tonight, the team will be playing to win against the Patriots in order to clinch a first-round bye and home-field advantage. The game could, however, carry significantly less meaning for the Bills if they cannot beat the Bengals tonight; they would lose out on the top seed with a loss in Cincinnati coupled with a Kansas City Chiefs win over the Las Vegas Raiders next Saturday afternoon.
In either event, the game will carry significant importance for the 8-8 Patriots, who are in a win-and-you’re-in situation heading into their finale. Regardless of the outcomes of fellow 8-8 teams like the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Jacksonville Jaguars, if the Patriots win in Buffalo, they will make the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the AFC. Tonight’s Bills-Bengals game is therefore significant to them, too, if events turn out of Buffalo’s favor and they consider resting starters for the postseason next weekend.