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NFL Week 5 rooting guide for the Dolphins

A weekly look around the AFC and how the games need to fall to best help the Miami Dolphins.

NFL: Preaseason-New England Patriots at New York Giants Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins put themselves in a hole by starting the season 1-3, but it is not the end of the season yet for the South Florida franchise. They started the year with three road games in four weeks, all against 2015 playoff teams. Now, they have to use a four-game stretch over five weeks, all at home in Hard Rock Stadium.

They are also going to need help throughout the rest of the year to position themselves in the best possible spot in the AFC conference. As we do every week, we take a look at the NFL’s schedule, and put together a rooting guide for Dolphins fans as the AFC teams play over the weekend.

Here is the Week 5 rooting guide for Dolphins fans:

New England Patriots (3-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-4)

Sunday, 1pm ET

Pretty simple rooting guide for this game. You could make the argument that the Browns losing - and thus staying below the one win threshold Miami currently has - makes the best sense for the Dolphins, but New England falling back to two losses is a better result for the Dolphins. Root for: Browns.

Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts (1-3)

Sunday, 1pm ET

An NFC team against an AFC team and a chance to keep an AFC team down at one win. Fairly straight forward. Root for: Bears.

Tennessee Titans (1-3) at Miami Dolphins (1-3)

Sunday, 1pm ET

For the Dolphins to be in contention for a Wildcard berth, they have to rack up some wins, especially on this four-game homestand. That needs to start against the Titans. Root for: Dolphins.

Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

Sunday, 1pm

Baltimore is tied for the AFC North lead, but seems like a team that is a probable Wildcard contender. Against an NFC team, this is the perfect time for them to pick up another loss. Root for: Redskins.

Houston Texans (3-1) at Minnesota Vikings

Sunday, 1pm ET

Houston already has a two game lead in the AFC South, appearing the favorite to win the division. Assuming that is the case, them winning is a good thing for the Dolphins, keeping them out of the reaches of the rest of the division and away from the Wildcard fight. Root for: Texans.

New York Jets (1-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)

Sunday, 1pm ET

With the write-up about the Ravens above, that leaves the Steelers in position to win the AFC North. Continuing to win is a good thing in that case, plus a loss for a 1-3 AFC East team is a good thing is that team is not the Dolphins. Root for: Steelers.

Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos (4-0)

Sunday, 4:05pm ET

The Raiders are only a game behind the Broncos, so it is still too early to think about the Perfect Season ramifications when it comes to Denver. It is more important for them to continue to win and get away from the Wildcard picture by solidifying their division championship positioning. Root for: Broncos.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) at Dallas Cowboys

Sunday, 4:25pm ET

An AFC team at an NFC Team, that leads to wanting to see the NFC team win. A 2-2 team in the Wildcard hunt means wanting to see them lose. A team that has a head-to-head win over the Dolphins means they need to rack up some losses. All-in-all, that leads to the Bengals needing to lose. Root for: Cowboys.

Buffalo Bills (2-2) at Los Angeles Rams

Sunday, 4:25pm ET

Needing an AFC East team to lose makes this a fairly simple decision. Root for: Rams.

San Diego Chargers (1-3) at Oakland Raiders (3-1)

Sunday, 4:25pm ET

This is the tough game to decide this week. A win by the Chargers pushes them into the two-win level and puts them into a better Wildcard picture position. A win by the Raiders keeps them at the head of the Wildcard hunt. Both teams losing helps Miami. Picking the Raiders to lose here just keeps the Wildcard picture a bigger mess, which should help the Dolphins. Root for: Chargers.

AFC Bye Teams

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)
Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)