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Evaluating the Miami Dolphins playoff chances following Week 11 of the NFL season

The Dolphins currently have a 91% chance at reaching the playoffs.

Cleveland Browns v Miami Dolphins Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Thanks to a few key results across the NFL in Week 11, the Miami Dolphins (7-3) will return to action next Sunday as the #2 seed in the AFC, atop the AFC East standings.

Following the New England Patriots’ 10-3 win over the New York Jets in Week 11, the Jets fell to 6-4, meaning their tie-breaking win over the Dolphins in Week 5 holds relatively little weight at this point in the season, if any at all. Both the Jets and the Patriots currently sit at 6-4, one game behind the Dolphins. And although the Buffalo Bills share Miami’s 7-3 record following their Week 11 win over the Cleveland Browns, Miami’s win over the Bills in Week 3 gives them the head-to-head tiebreaker over Buffalo.

So, as the team enters the last stretch of the season, the Dolphins remain firmly in control of their own destiny, holding the top spot in the AFC East. According to FiveThirtyEight’s projections, the Dolphins currently have a 91% of making the playoffs, 8th-highest in the league. The Dolphins also have a 36% chance of winning the AFC East, although that falls below the Bills’ odds at 52%.

As of today, the AFC playoff picture would look something like this:


  1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-2)
  2. Miami Dolphins (7-3)
  3. Tennessee Titans (7-3)
  4. Baltimore Ravens (7-3)
  5. Buffalo Bills (7-3)
  6. New England Patriots (6-4)
  7. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)

Were these standings to hold, the Dolphins would host the Bengals in the Wild-Card round of the NFL Playoffs, marking the team’s first home playoff game since 2009. The Dolphins have a somewhat favorable schedule for the remainder of the season, with a few tough matchups sprinkled in between.

Week 12: vs. Houston Texans (Nov. 27th, 1 PM)

Week 13: @ San Francisco 49ers (Dec. 4th, 4:05 PM)

Week 14: @ Los Angeles Chargers (Dec. 11th, 4:05 PM)

Week 15: @ Buffalo Bills (Date TBD, Time TBD)

Week 16: vs. Green Bay Packers (Dec. 25th, 1 PM)

Week 17: @ New England Patriots (Jan. 1st, 1 PM)

Week 18: vs. New York Jets (Jan. 8, Time TBD)

According to FiveThirtyEight’s game-by-game projections, the Dolphins are most likely to finish the season at 12-5, which would all but secure 1st-place in the AFC East, as well as the #2 seed in the AFC.

In other words, Miami’s playoff chances took a massive boost in Week 11, and should the team win the games they’re expected to win, the Dolphins will be in contention for a Super Bowl trophy come late January.

What do you think about the Dolphins’ chances of making the playoffs this season? Can they win the division? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter at @thephinsider and @flameosumeet!