Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Dolphins entered the week with the slimmest of playoff chances, needing to win as well as see the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals just to stay alive until next week. Those chances ended today when the Bengals beat the Steelers.
The Miami Dolphins' playoff chances have ended following a 13-10 win by the Cincinnati Bengals over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Dolphins needed the Bengals to lose to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
While it was highly unlikely that the Dolphins would make the playoffs this year, the fact that in Week 16, the team still had hopes was impressive. Next week, the Dolphins will play the New England Patriots in their only "meaningless" game of the year.
In an era of Dolphins losing season after losing season, that Miami was in the discussion for the playoffs this late in the year should be welcomed by Dolphins fans. The team is moving in the right direction behind rookie head coach Joe Philbin and quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
For the Dolphins to have made the playoffs, the Steelers would have had to beat the Bengals this week, then both teams lose next week. The Dolphins had to win today against the Bills, which they completed, then beat the Patriots next week. Miami also needed the New York Jets to lose one of their last two games, which happened today as the Jets dropped their contest against the San Diego Chargers.