Having won their last two games, the Miami Dolphins currently sit at a comfortable 6-3. Should the NFL playoffs start tomorrow, they’d be the 6th seed in the AFC and would go on the road to face the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card round. However, the Dolphins could massively improve their playoff hopes with a win on Sunday, potentially setting the team up for a deep run in January (and dare I say it, maybe even February).
As per Pro Football Focus’ playoff projection model, the Dolphins currently have a 72% of chance of making the playoffs, 5th-highest in the AFC. A win in Week 10 over the Cleveland Browns would improve that number to 85%, but a loss would drop it down to 59%.
In other words, the Dolphins have a LOT at stake this Sunday, or at least more than people think. A loss drops the team to 6-4, leaving the door open for teams such as the New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, and Cincinnati Bengals to leapfrog the Dolphins in the hunt for a playoff spot. In that scenario, the Dolphins’ playoff hopes would hover a little over 50/50, which would be a huge disappointment at this stage in the season. In fact, the Dolphins have the 2nd-highest playoff “swing” in Week 10 of the NFL season, with a 26% difference in playoff chances with a win versus a loss.
Granted, these numbers are projections, and should be taken with a grain of salt. But still, the Dolphins have more than a few apples riding on this week’s contest against the Browns, and can’t afford to drop a favorable game at home. A win puts the team in pole position to make the playoffs for the first time in 6 years, and possibly even win the division. Make no mistake about it, this Sunday could very well be the day the Dolphins unofficially “seal” their spot in the 2023 NFL playoffs.
How confident are you in the Dolphins’ playoff chances this season? Will they come out with a win on Sunday? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!