NFL.com's Gil Brandt put together a list this afternoon of the top ten teams he sees that could make a push to get into the playoffs. His starting criteria was the teams had to be on the outside of the playoff picture right now, then he used the remaining schedule for each franchise, as well as any players projected to return from injury or suspension, and determined who he thinks can "make a serious run at the promised land."
Sitting on number four on that list is the Miami Dolphins. Brandt explains:
The Dolphins are about where they were at this point last season (3-4 through Week 8). Of course, they ultimately fell short of the playoffs, thanks to a year-ending two-game skid in which they scored seven total points. I don't see Miami collapsing as easily this time around. Ryan Tannehillis ascending; with the exception of the first half against the Jags last week, he's played much better in the past four weeks (3-1 record, 68 percent completion rate, 8 yards per attempt, touchdown-to-interception ratio of 7:4) than he did in Weeks 1 through 3. I'd expect Miami's offense to continue improving under first-year coordinator Bill Lazor; Dion Jordan's return from suspension, meanwhile, should help the pass rush. Looking at their schedule, I think the Dolphins have a shot at nine or 10 wins.
The Dolphihe ns schedule over the next few weeks is not easy, as they host the San Diego Chargersthis weekend, a team that is currently in a Wildcard playoff position. They then travel to the Detroit Lions, host the Buffalo Bills, and visit the Denver Broncosto complete the next four weeks of their schedule. If they are able to come away with wins in some of those games, they could well put themselves into the playoff picture, while dropping teams like the Chargers and Bills from it.
Ahead of the Dolphins on Brandt's list are two other AFC teams, the Pittsbugh Steelers in the second position and the Baltimore Ravens in the third. The New Orleans Saints, and NFC team, takes the top spot.
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