The Miami Dolphins find their NFL playoff hopes currently in need of some massive help, and it begins with their own Week 16 matchup. While the Dolphins must first handle business and knock off the Jacksonville Jaguars, they’ll need help beyond that to remain in the AFC playoff picture. On the bright side, when their game kicks off, they’ll know the dream remains alive.
Unfortunately, even defeating the Jaguars wouldn’t guarantee that they head into Week 17 with a postseason berth remaining as a possibility. So, we’re going to break down the outlook for the Dolphins and their chances to make it into the dance.
Saturday’s wins by the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens certainly hurt Miami, as their path got a fair amount tougher in the process. Let’s take a look at the current AFC standings and the Dolphins’ playoff chances.
*Note: Dolphins’ updated playoff odds/chances below.
AFC Playoff Standings
|1. Kansas City Chiefs||11||3||0|
|2. Houston Texans||10||4||0|
|3. New England Patriots||9||5||0|
|4. Pittsburgh Steelers||8||5||1|
|5. L.A. Chargers||11||3||0|
|6. Baltimore Ravens||9||6||0|
|7. Indianapolis Colts||9||6||0|
|8. Tennessee Titans||9||6||0|
For starters, Miami needs the Indianapolis Colts to fall to the New York Giants, which is a longshot. Along with that, the New England Patriots losing to the Buffalo Bills would lead to the postseason dream ending quickly.
The AFC playoff race is somewhat of a jumbled mess currently, specifically when it comes to the sixth and final Wild Card spot. There is still plenty of jockeying for position to be done, but the focus for the Dolphins is winning their last two games and getting the necessary help to grab a playoff spot.
Unfortunately, it’s going to require major help and the odds aren’t in Miami’s favor as Sunday’s Week 16 action gets rolling.
Dolphins’ Playoff Chances
If you believe in miracles, then the Dolphins playoff outlook is for you. But on the flip side, you’ll have to be a big believer that teams can overcome massive odds. According to Playoff Status, Miami currently has a 98 percent chance to miss the playoffs and just a one percent chance to finish in either the No. 4 or 6 spots.
A loss for the Dolphins immediately eliminates them from the postseason. In order to have a chance at the division title, the Patriots would have to lose to the Bills and Jets in the last two games with Miami winning out.
As far a Wild Card spot goes, this would require two wins and the Colts first losing to the Giants and then defeating the Titans. From there, Baltimore would have to lose to the Cleveland Browns in Week 17 with the Pittsburgh Steelers winning just once in the final two games.
As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald laid out, the above Wild Card scenario would lead to the Dolphins, Ravens, Colts, and Titans finishing at 9-7 with Miami winning the tiebreaker.
Update: The Dolphins have been eliminated from playoff contention.