This week, rather than post our normal NFL Power Rankings, we are going to "power rank" the four remaining games for the Miami Dolphins. There are many different ways to rank these games, so we will take a look at a few of the options.
Opponent Power Ranking:
This is pretty straight forward. The Patriots are clearly the best of the four teams remaining on Miami's schedule, with the Ravens second. The Vikings may have just a 5-7 record, but that's still three games ahead of the 2-10 Jets.
Wildcard Hunt "Must Win" Rankings:
1. Baltimore Ravens
2. New York Jets
3. Minnesota Vikings
4. New England Patriots
Going off the assumption that the AFC Wildcard teams are going to need at least 10 wins, Miami has to win three of the next four, starting with the Ravens. Beating Baltimore is nearly a must, with a win pushing Miami to 8-5 while the Ravens would fall to 7-6, as well as Miami taking the head-to-head tie break over Baltimore, and strengthening the conference record. Beating the Jets in Week 17 could be the make-or-break game for the Dolphins' playing the next week in the playoffs or packing and going home for the winter; a win strengthens the division and conference records tie breaks. The Vikings game is more about padding the win column than any tie breaks. The Patriots game is the one contest that does not seemd like a "must win" for Miami to make the playoffs as a Wildcard. The loss would hurt, but it was not be debilitating; the Dolphins can overcome the loss to the Patriots with wins in the other games.
AFC East "Must Win" Rankings:
1. New England Patriots
2. New York Jets
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. Minnesota Vikings
Let's not forget that the AFC East division title is still in play for Miami, if a few things break their way. Ultimately, all four of these games might be must wins for Miami to have a chance, and even then it would not guarantee anything, as New England has to lose twice, one of which is the game against the Dolphins. The Jets game would be second in this scenario, because you always want to beat your division rivals, plus it helps Miami's division and conference record if, somehow, they were to find themslves in a tioe with New England, but not having swept the season series. After that, the Ravens get the nod ahead of Minnesota, because Baltimore is in the conference. Again, these are probably all four must wins in order for the AFC East crown to come to Miami.
What other ways would you rank the teams? Would you agree with these rankings? Give us some of your power ranking ideas below.