After sitting atop the AFC East just two weeks ago, the Miami Dolphins (8-5) have taken a major tumble down the AFC standings. Following two straight losses, the Dolphins will return to action this Saturday as the #6 seed in the AFC, facing off against the Buffalo Bills (10-3).
A win this weekend would go a long way in restarting Miami’s quest for a division title, but frankly, it’s a long shot. According to FiveThirtyEight’s projections, the Dolphins currently have a 7% chance of winning the AFC East, with the Buffalo Bills favored at 92%. However, using this same model, the Dolphins still have a 70% of making the 2022 NFL Playoffs, 6th-highest in the AFC.
As of today, the AFC playoff picture would look something like this:
- Buffalo Bills (10-3)
- Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)
- Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
- Tennessee Titans (7-6)
- Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)
- Miami Dolphins (8-5)
- New England Patriots (7-6)
So, should the playoffs start today, the Dolphins would travel to Baltimore to face off against the Ravens in the Wild-Card round of the NFL Playoffs, marking the team’s first playoff appearance since 2016.
The Dolphins’ remaining schedule is as follows:
- Week 15: @ Buffalo Bills (Dec 17th, 8:15 PM)
- 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)
With just four games left, the Dolphins actually have slightly more room for error than one might expect. While expectations should be higher, wins over the New England Patriots (7-6) in Week 17 and the New York Jets (7-6) in Week 18 would confirm Miami’s spot in the playoffs, irrespective of any other outcomes. Two wins, and they’re in. Of course, those wins must come against those two teams, as both the Patriots and Jets currently sit at 7-6, one game behind the Dolphins.
FiveThirtyEight’s game-by-game projections have the Dolphins finishing at 10-7, cutting it extremely close at the end of the season. In other words, Miami’s playoff chances took a massive hit in Week 14, but should the team win the games they are expected to win, they’ll more than likely to make the playoffs.
What do you think about the Dolphins’ chances of making the playoffs this season? Can they sneak in as a Wild-Card team? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter at @thephinsider and @flameosumeet!