The NFL Playoffs are a long way off for the Miami Dolphins, but that does not mean that they are actually out of the playoff picture. There is a lot that has to happen for Miami to make the postseason tournament for the first time since the 2008 season, and it has to start happening immediately. As such, we take a look at the results we would need to see this weekend to best position Miami for some meaningful January football.
AFC playoff picture
1. New England Patriots (10-1)
2. Cincinnati Bengals (9-2, 7-1 in AFC)
3. Denver Broncos (9-2, 5-2 in AFC)
4. Indianapolis Colts (6-5, head-to-head win over HOU)
5. Kansas City Chiefs (6-5, 5-2 AFC, head-to-head win over HOU)
6. Houston Texans (6-5, 4-3 AFC, head-to-head losses to IND & KC, win over NYJ)
7. New York Jets (6-5, 5-4 AFC, head-to-head loss to HOU)
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5, 3-4 AFC)
9. Oakland Raiders (5-6, 5-3 AFC)
10. Buffalo Bills (5-6, 5-5 in AFC)
11. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7, head-to-head win over MIA)
12. Baltimore Ravens (4-7)
13. Miami Dolphins (4-7, head-to-head loss to JAX)
14. San Diego Chargers (3-8)
15. Cleveland Browns (2-9)
16. Tennessee Titans (2-9)
Dolphins remaining schedule:
December 6 (1pm ET) - vs. Baltimore
December 14 (8:30pm ET MNF) - vs New York Giants
December 20 (4:25pm ET) - @ San Diego
December 27 (1pm ET) - vs. Indianapolis
January 3 (1pm ET) - vs. New England
Dolphins over Ravens
Obviously, Miami needs to win in order to better their chances at the playoffs.
Giants over Jets
The Jets are ahead of Miami in the AFC East, so they need to start losing.
Titans over Jaguars
The Jaguars are 4-7 on the year, with the head-to-head advantage over Miami. The Titans are 2-9. A win by Tennessee also helps Miami's strength of victory.
Texans over Bills
This one is hard, because a loss by both teams would help Miami, but the Dolphins need to get ahead of the Bills, sine Buffalo won both head-to-head games against their South Florida division rivals. Thus, letting the Texans get to 7-5 and makes more sense.
Bengals over Browns
Cincinnati is running away with the AFC North, so this game really does not have much of an impact unless you are looking at strength of victory tie breaks for other teams in the conference.
Raiders over Chiefs
Kansas City is currently in an playoff spot. If Miami wants to get back into the playoff picture, they need playoff teams to get losses. Seems pretty straight forward.
Broncos over Chargers
The Broncos are running away with the AFC West, while the Chargers are trying to climb back into the mess of the AFC East wildcard chase. Like Miami, then need a lot to go right for them, and a loss is not something going right for San Diego - but it is something right for Miami.
Eagles over Patriots
The Patriots losing does not do anything for Miami except maybe seeing them fall out of the home-field advantage positions. An Eagles win would help the strength of victory tiebreak for Miami if they need it.
Colts over Steelers
Pittsburgh is ahead of Miami but does not appear to be in position to win their division. The Colts are in position to win their division. A loss by the Steelers makes more sense.