For our rooting guide each week, I typically take the entire weekend’s schedule, breaking down what wins and losses help the Miami Dolphins. This week, it is a little shorter, because the wins and losses Miami needs are easy. How do the Dolphins make the playoffs? How do they land the third-overall pick as the selection moves to Miami from the Houston Texans? Simple.
We break down exactly what Miami needs from today’s games to make both of those things happen:
Playoff Picture Rooting Guide:
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills, 1pm ET - I do not usually include the Dolphins game in the rooting guide, because it is a given to root for Miami. But, in this case, I added it because if Miami wins, they are in the playoffs. They do not need assistance from anyone else. Root for: A Dolphins win and the playoffs!
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, 1pm ET - A Baltimore loss lands the Dolphins in the playoffs. Root for: Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns, 1pm ET - A Cleveland loss lands the Dolphins in the playoffs. Root for: Pittsburgh.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts, 4:25pm ET - An Indianapolis loss lands the Dolphins in the playoffs. Root for: Jacksonville
Tie scenarios: If Miami and Buffalo were to tie, the Dolphins would be in with either any of those losses or if any of those games, or the Tennessee at Houston game, were to also finish in a tie.
Draft position scenarios:
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, 4:25pm ET - Pretty simple. The Texans claim the third-overall draft position - and give the pick to Miami - with a loss. Here is to Ryan Tannehill giving the Dolphins a great pick. Root for: Tennessee.
Just to make sure nothing wonky happens with the pick, making sure all the four-win teams also win could be important here.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1pm ET - Root for: Atlanta.
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, 1pm ET - We are already rooting for the Bengals for playoff reasons, so no reason to change that here. Root for: Cincinnati (still).
Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20pm ET - Game 256 on the NFL schedule and the last time we should have “Football Team” as a team’s name. Root for: Philadelphia.