The Dolphins coaches and players are only worried about one thing this week; and that’s the only thing that they can control, which is preparing to defeat the Buffalo Bills. However, fans and media members are afforded the luxury of looking at the bigger picture, which includes an outside shot that the Dolphins could qualify for this year’s AFC playoffs.
It’s very unlikely that an 8-8 record will qualify for the post-season, but it’s happened before and there’s a chance that it could happen again in the AFC this year. Here’s what needs to happen for the Dolphins to make the postseason:
*Miami (6-8) must win each of their final two games (Sunday vs. Buffalo AND 12/30 @ New England)
*Cincinnati (8-6) must lose each of their final two games (Sunday at Pittsburgh AND 12/30 vs. Baltimore)
*Pittsburgh (7-7) must beat Cincinnati on Sunday AND lose to Cleveland in Week 17.
* New York Jets (6-8) must lose either Sunday vs. San Diego OR lose in Week 17 at Buffalo. (Even though the Jets are eliminated from the playoffs, if the Jets finish in a 3-way tie with the Dolphins and another team at 8-8, the Jets would hold a tiebreaker edge on the Dolphins based on record against common opponents and that would eliminate the Dolphins and allow one of the AFC North teams to advance).
So as you can see, a lot of things of things would need to happen for the Dolphins to qualify for the AFC playoffs. However, the team enters Week 16 still having a shot at postseason play, which is more than many other teams can say at this time of the year.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.