NFL Week 18 Matchup Winners: Jaelan Phillips adds to his impressive 2022 campaign, Garrett Wilson builds his Offensive Rookie of the Year case

Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

As part of PFF's grading process, we chart every matchup on the football field, allowing us to take a detailed look at the in-game battles and highlight the players who come out on top each week.

There can be obvious matchup victories, such as a wide receiver putting up 150 yards against a struggling cornerback or an edge rusher repeatedly beating the same tackle to sack the quarterback. But there can also be those hidden wins, such as a guard quietly beating his opponent on every pass-block rep or a cornerback holding his receiver to zero targets over a game.

Here are the players who got the better of their matchups in Week 18.

DI Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs vs. RG Alex Bars, Las Vegas Raiders

Jones played 21 pass-rush snaps against Bars and was double-teamed on 12 of these snaps. He still won 43% of his reps, generating two sacks and seven other pressures. These are otherworldly numbers.

EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami Dolphins vs. RT Cedric Ogbuehi, New York Jets

Phillips almost single-handedly willed his Dolphins into the playoffs, winning 42% of his pass-rush reps against Ogbuehi and pressuring Jets QB Joe Flacco four times on these plays. He didn’t quite get home for a sack because Flacco did an excellent job of getting rid of the ball, but thanks to Phillips, the veteran passer rarely found a valuable target.

DI Deforest Buckner, Indianapolis Colts vs. LG Kenyon Green, Houston Texans

Buckner was double-teamed by Green and center Scott Quessenberry on a lot of plays. Still, the veteran defensive lineman won 39% of his pass-rush reps against those two and generated eight pressures in the process.

DI Cameron Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. LG Joel Bitonio, Cleveland Browns

Heyward faced Bitonio 30 times on Sunday and won eight pass-rush reps against him — roughly twice the win rate you would expect from an interior defender — despite being double-teamed more often than not. Heyward generated five pressures and sacked the quarterback three times.

LT Kolton Miller, Las Vegas Raiders vs. EDGE Michael Danna, Kansas City Chiefs

Granted, he didn’t face the strongest competition, but Miller was one of the few Raiders who shined bright against the Kansas City Chiefs — he didn’t lose a single pass-block rep against Danna in Week 18.

LT Laremy Tunsil, Houston Texans vs. EDGE Dayo Odeyingbo, Indianapolis Colts

Tunsil didn't care about the first overall pick, and consequently, he helped his Texans win the final regular-season game by winning every single one of his pass-block reps against Dayo Odeyingbo.

WR Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills vs. CB Jonathan Jones, New England Patriots

Diggs dominated his matchup against Jones, as he was positively graded for his separation on seven of his 10 routes against him. He racked up 55 yards and a touchdown against Jones’ coverage.

WR Garrett Wilson, New York Jets vs. CB Xavien Howard and CB Kader Kohou, Miami Dolphins

Wilson spent most of his final game this season building on his Offensive Rookie of the Year case. He played 22 snaps against Howard and Kouhou; he was positively graded for his route running on nine of them and went over 100 yards.

CB Charvarius Ward, San Francisco 49ers vs. WR A.J. Green, Arizona Cardinals

Covering A.J. Green is much easier these days, but not allowing separation or a target once on 10 coverage snaps against the former All-Pro is still notable enough to be mentioned here.

CB Marlon Humphrey, Baltimore Ravens vs. WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

The Ravens relied almost entirely on zone coverage against the Bengals' wide receivers, which certainly helped their cornerbacks. Humphrey wasn’t graded negatively for his coverage against Chase on 12 snaps. Chase was targeted only once for 20 yards against him.

CB Trevon Diggs, Dallas Cowboys vs. WR Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders

The Cowboys were certainly not in playoff shape on Sunday, but Diggs sure was, as rookie wide receiver Jahan Dotson was unable to generate separation or a target against him.


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