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AFC Playoff picture ahead of Monday Night Football

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The Miami Dolphins lost to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, making the Playoffs seem even further away. Except, if the New England Patriots beat the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football, position for the postseason tournament is not really that far away.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Playoffs appear to be at least another year away for the Miami Dolphins, who lost their sixth game of the year yesterday with a 24-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Miami cannot score enough points on offense to keep up with opponents, while the defense plays well, but is not dominating enough to keep the scores low. The Dolphins are last in the AFC East, are still below .500 on the year, and struggling to find and keep their identity each week.

There is no hope for the Playoffs.

Except, there is.

Somehow, Miami could come out of this week just one game out of the Playoffs. If the New England Patriots beat the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football, the final AFC Playoff spot will be held by a 5-5 team, meaning Miami's 4-6 record still can make a charge into the postseason.

Even as frustrating and disappointing as this season has been at times, and as much as we, as fans, do not truly believe this team can put it together and make a run, the possibility is there. Interim head coach Dan Campbell could still pull off the turnaround from a 1-3 team that fired its coach to a Playoff team.

AFC Playoff Standings
(Pending Monday Night Football)

1 - New England Patriots (9-0*, AFC East Leader)
2 - Cincinnati Bengals (8-2, AFC North Leader)
3 - Denver Broncos (8-2, AFC West Leader)
4 - Indianapolis Colts (5-5, AFC South Leader)

5 - Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4, Wildcard 1)
6 - Buffalo Bills (5-4*, Wildcard 2)

Kansas City Chiefs (5-5)
Houston Texans (5-5)
New York Jets (5-5)

Oakland Raiders (4-6)
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6)
Miami Dolphins (4-6)

Baltimore Ravens (3-7)

Cleveland Browns (2-8)
San Diego Chargers (2-8)
Tennessee Titans (2-8)

*Monday Night Football participants