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Week 15 Playoff implictaions: Confusion for Dolphins fan

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Wait. We have to root for whom?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s Week 15 schedule is underway, to include Saturday night’s 34-13 victory for the Miami Dolphins over the New York Jets. That sets Miami in the sixth position in the AFC Playoff picture, but it means they need a little help to keep that position. The Dolphins could find themselves back in the seventh position if the Denver Broncos win on Sunday. Denver would tie Miami’s 9-5 record, moving ahead of Miami due to the common opponent tie-breaker.

Which means, simply, Miami needs to root for a Denver loss.

Which is where things get confusing.

See, the Broncos are playing the New England Patriots. The Dolphins’ AFC East rival Patriots. The team everyone loves to hate, the Patriots. Dolphins fans cannot root for the Patriots can they?

The confusion does not end there, however. The Dolphins still have a (very outside) chance at winning the AFC East title this year. A Patriots win on Sunday ends that chance as New England would again claim the championship. You always want to win the division, so seeing another team win it is not right. Dolphins fans cannot root for the Patriots to win the division can they?

On this particular Sunday, that is exactly what Dolphins fans have to do. They have to root for the Patriots. They have to root to see the AFC East crown head to Foxboro again. They have to want Tom Brady and Bill Belichick to win their eighth-straight division title.

Because that Patriots win could be the one that ultimately ends Miami’s eight-year Playoff-less streak.