The 2017 season has been a roller coaster for the Miami Dolphins, from losing their starting quarterback and second-round draft pick linebacker early in the summer to dodging a hurricane to being scheduled to play 16-straight weeks to another trip to London to 10 players on injured reserve, etc., etc. Miami has two two-game losing streaks this year, but they also have a three-game winning streak. They are on the final game of a three-straight prime-time games streak, playing Thursday Night Football in Week 8, Sunday Night Football in Week 9, and Monday Night Football tonight to close Week 10.
The schedule continues to be strange heading down the stretch, with things like facing the New England Patriots in Weeks 12 and 14 and the Buffalo Bills in Weeks 15 and 17. They also still have one more prime-time game, facing the Patriots in Miami in Week 14 on Monday Night Football.
Through all of this, the Dolphins are still sitting in the AFC Playoff picture, just on the outside looking in with tonight’s game to play. How does the current playoff picture look? What happens if Miami wins or loses tonight? We take our first playoff picture look today.
AFC Playoff Picture
(1) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2, AFC North leader)
(2) New England Patriots (7-2, AFC East leader)
(3) Kansas City Chiefs (6-3, AFC West leader)
(4) Tennessee Titans (6-3, AFC South)
(5) Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3, Wildcard 1 leader)
(6) Buffalo Bills (5-4, Wildcard 2 leader)
Miami Dolphins (4-4)*
Baltimore Ravens (4-5)
Oakland Raiders (4-5)
New York Jets (4-6)
Houston Texans (3-6)
Cincinnati Bengals (3-6)
Los Angeles Chargers (3-6)
Denver Broncos (3-6)
Indianapolis Colts (3-7)
Cleveland Browns (0-9)
*Week 10 game to be played
A win for the Dolphins on Monday will move them back into a tie with the Bills for the second position in the AFC East and a tie for the sixth-seed in the AFC Playoff picture. The Bills and Dolphins have not faced each other yet this year and are both 1-1 in the division, having each split their season series with the Jets. With a win over the Panthers, the Dolphins and Bills tie-breaker would be based on results in common games, where Buffalo is 4-2 (Jets, Falcons, Raiders, Panthers wins; Jets, Saints losses), while the Dolphins are 3-3 (Jets, Falcons, Panthers wins; Jets, Saints, Raiders losses).
A loss on Monday for Miami drops them to ninth in the AFC standings, falling behind the Ravens and Raiders. The Dolphins would be 3-3 in the conference, compared to the Ravens’ 4-3 and the Raiders’ 4-4 record.
NFC Playoff Picture
(1) Philadelphia Eagles (8-1, NFC East leader)
(2) Minnesota Vikings (7-2, NFC North leader)
(3) New Orleans Saints (7-2, NFC South leader)
(4) Los Angeles Rams (7-2, NFC West leader)
(5) Seattle Seahawks (6-3, Wildcard 1 leader)
(6) Carolina Panthers (6-3, Wildcard 2 leader)*
Atlanta Falcons (5-4)
Detroit Lions (5-4)
Dallas Cowboys (5-4)
Green Bay Packers (5-4)
Washington Redskins (4-5)
Arizona Cardinals (4-5)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)
Chicago Bears (3-6)
New York Giants (1-8)
San Francisco 49ers (1-9)
*Week 10 game to be played
A win for the Panthers will keep them within a half game of the Saints for the NFC South lead. A loss leave them in the sixth position, one game up on the Falcons/Lions/Cowboys/Packers group.