Week 18 of the NFL season has arrived. The postseason begins next week.
Multiple former Mountaineers are on teams that have already clinched a playoff berth, but others, like Geno Smith, still have work to do on the regular season’s final weekend to secure a spot in the postseason.
Here’s a look at what’s at stake, and what has to happen, for each former Mountaineer with playoff aspirations. (Note: Players are listed in order of current league standings)
Kyzir White – Philadelphia Eagles LB
White and the Eagles have already secured a spot in the playoffs. But their seeding, and plans for the Wild Card round, could change drastically in Week 18.
The Eagles can clinch the top spot in the NFC in two ways. The first is simply by winning on Sunday. The second is if both Dallas and San Francisco both lose. Philadelphia can clinch the division title with an Eagles victory, or a loss by Dallas.
Philly can finish first, second, or fifth in the NFC standings based on this weekend’s outcomes. Only the team in the top spot of each conference receives a first-round bye.
White ranks second on the Eagles with 98 total tackles.
Week 18 Game: home vs. New York Giants, Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS
Colton McKivitz – San Francisco 49ers OL
McKivitz and San Francisco know they’re going to the playoffs once again. They already have the NFC West division wrapped up, but the top spot in the conference is up for grabs.
A win by San Fran and a loss by Philadelphia on Sunday would give the 49ers the top spot in the NFC, and a first-round bye. However, a loss on Sunday could potentially drop the 49ers from second to third in the NFC standings, based on the outcome of Minnesota’s contest.
Week 18 Game: home vs. Arizona Cardinals, Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX
Will Grier – Dallas Cowboys QB
Grier’s Cowboys have a lot to play for on the final Sunday of the regular season, starting with the fact that they’ll take on one of their biggest rivals in the Washington Commanders. Dallas is a lock for the postseason, though much is still up for grabs.
With a win over Washington and a loss by Philadelphia, the Cowboys can clinch the NFC East title. If those two results happen, and a loss by San Francisco also occurs, Dallas would rise from fifth to first in the NFC conference standings, clinching a first-round bye.
Week 18 Game: at Washington Commanders, Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX
Mark Glowinski – New York Giants OL
Glowinski and the Giants took care of business in Week 17. They secured their postseason berth and locked themselves into the second wild card spot in the NFC standings.
What’s left to decide for the Giants this weekend? Their first-round opponent.
New York will travel to the No. 3 seed in the conference for the opening round of the postseason. As of now, that opponent is the Minnesota Vikings.
Week 18 Game: at Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS
Geno Smith (QB) and Bruce Irvin (LB) – Seattle Seahawks
A comeback season for the ages for Geno Smith currently includes a trip to the postseason. But that remains very much up in the air entering the final week of the regular season.
With three teams deadlocked at 8-8, the scenario is simple: a Seattle win combined with a Green Bay loss punches Irvin and Smith’s tickets to the postseason. A loss on Sunday eliminates the Seahawks, as would a Green Bay victory. Seattle holds a tiebreaker over the Detroit Lions, but not against the Packers.
Smith is vying for the first playoff appearance of his NFL career. He currently ranks fourth in the NFC with 4,069 passing yards this season.
Week 18 Game: home vs. Los Angeles Rams, Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX
Rasul Douglas – Green Bay Packers CB
Douglas and the Packers will very much be rooting against those fellow Mountaineers to lose on Sunday. The former Mountaineer defensive back will know going into Green Bay’s Sunday Night Football game that no matter what else happens that day, a Packers victory means they’re headed to the postseason.
Green Bay enters the weekend tied with the Seahawks and Detroit Lions, who all have 8-8 records. Douglas and company can eliminate both teams from playoff contention simply by winning Sunday night.
Douglas has made a career-high 80 tackles and also collected the first sack of his career this year.
Week 18 Game: home vs. Detroit Lions, Sunday at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
Yodny Cajuste – New England Patriots OL
Cajuste and the Patriots currently hold possession of the seventh and final playoff spot in the AFC. That creates a simple scenario for New England: win and you’re in.
Cajuste and company can also gain entry to the playoffs with losses by Miami, Pittsburgh, and Tennessee.
Week 18 Game: at Buffalo Bills, Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS
David Long Jr. – Tennessee Titans LB
Long is the only former Mountaineer whose team is competing on national TV on Saturday. Long’s Titans take on division rival Jacksonville with the division title on the line.
A win on Saturday, which would capture the AFC South crown, is the only way for Tennesse to punch its ticket to the postseason. A loss sends Tennessee into the offseason.
It’s unclear if Long will be available to play Saturday. He was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 11 with a hamstring injury. Long had collected a career-best 86 total tackles this season prior to being placed on IR.
Week 18 Game: at Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday at 8:15 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN, ESPN+