The Miami Dolphins pulled off the longest touchdown from scrimmage to win a game as time expired since the 1970 AFC-NFL merger last Sunday. It was a seven-second miracle, and the Dolphins took down their division rivals, the New England Patriots. Both the Dolphins’ win and the Patriots’ loss impacted the NFL Playoff picture, with the Patriots falling further behind the AFC’s top spot while bringing the possibility of them falling out of the bye-week positions as well.
The Dolphins have now won two straight games, beating their AFC East rivals the Buffalo Bills and the Patriots in back-to-back weeks. Miami entered the weekend with just a seven percent chance to make the playoffs. After their win - and the rest of the league’s results for the weekend - that number jumped to 20 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight.com.
Without factoring in an other results, the Dolphins’ chances to make the playoffs will jump to 41 percent if they can beat the Minnesota Vikings next week. It will continue to rise with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16, up to 55 percent. A win in all three remaining games, including the Week 17 finale against the Bills, will jump Miami to 83 percent. A loss against the Vikings, with wins in the other two games, would have Miami at just 42 percent.
Currently ahead of the Dolphins in the chase for the Wildcard are the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts. If Miami were to win against the Vikings, along with a Ravens loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Colts were to lose against the Dallas Cowboys, Miami would have a 50 percent chance to make the postseason after this week.
The Dolphins have to continue to win if they want to reach the playoffs, but they overcame a major hurdle this past weekend with the win against the Patriots.
AFC Playoff Standings
1 - AFC West leader - Kansas City Chiefs (11-2)*
2 - AFC East leader - New England Patriots (9-4)
3 - AFC South leader - Houston Texans (9-4)
4 - AFC North leader - Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5-1)
5 - Wildcard - Los Angeles Chargers (10-3)
6 - Wildcard - Baltimore Ravens (7-6)
*Clinched playoff berth
Tie breaks: 9-4 teams: Patriots beat Texans based on head-to-head results; 7-6 teams: Division tie break used for Colts to beat Titans (head-to-head results), Ravens beat Dolphins on common games results, Ravens beat Colts on AFC win percentage, Colts beat Dolphins on head-to-head results, Dolphins beat Titans (after Colts out of tie) based on head-to-head; 4-9 teams: Division tie break used for Bills to beat Jets (division games win percentages), Bills beat Jaguars based on head-to-head results, Jaguars beat Jets (after Bills out of tie) based on head-to-head results
NFL Playoff Standings
1 - NFC South winner - New Orleans Saints (11-2)**
2 - NFC West winner - Los Angeles Rams (11-2)**
3 - NFC North leader - Chicago Bears (9-4)
4 - NFC East leader - Dallas Cowboys (8-5)
5 - Wildcard - Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
6 - Wildcard - Minnesota Vikings (6-6-1)
7 - Carolina Panthers (6-7)
8 - Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)
9 - Washington Redskins (6-7)
10 - Green Bay Packers (5-7-1)
11 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-8)
12 - New York Giants (5-8)
13 - Detroit Lions (5-8)
14 - Atlanta Falcons (4-9)
**Clinched division title
Tie breaks: 11-2 teams: Saints beat Rams based on head-to-head results; 6-7 teams: Division tie break used for Eagles to beat Redskins based on head-to-head, Panthers beat Eagles based on head-to-head; 5-8 teams: Buccaneers beat Lions and Giants based on NFC game results, Giants beat Lions based on NFC game results; 3-10 teams: Cardinals beat 49ers based on head-to-head results