Dolphins Playoff Primer: What to watch for in Week 15
The Miami Dolphins, with help of the Miami Miracle, won an incredible game on Sunday against the New England Patriots. What made that play so incredible was the minuscule chance it had for success, with the Dolphins playoff hopes hanging in the balance. Had the Dolphins fallen to 6-7, they would have also lost their 5th AFC game, which would’ve critically wounded their tie-breaker advantages.
But that didn’t happen, the Dolphins improved to 7-6 and now stand tied with 3 other teams (Ravens, Titans, and Colts). If the Dolphins win their last 3 games (@ Vikings, vs. Jaguars, and @ Bills), they’ll be 10-6 and that would likely give them the 6th playoff seed in the AFC. However, there is also a realistic (yes, realistic) chance the Dolphins could get in at 9-7. To do so, the only loss the Dolphins could have is against the Vikings (because they’re in the NFC and wouldn’t effect AFC tie-breakers). At 9-7 with wins against the Jags and Bills, the Dolphins would hold 3 team tie-breakers against all other teams ‘in the hunt’.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves. The Dolphins first have to take on the Vikings this weekend and play with the same urgency they did against the Patriots. While the Dolphins are in Minnesota, here are a list of games that could impact the Dolphins playoff chances. We’ll help you out with who to root for!
Chargers @ Chiefs (Thursday)
Root for the Chargers here. The Dolphins aren’t catching them for the 5th seed, but they do need the Chargers to stay motivated to play next week. A win by the Chargers creates a tie for the AFC West. In that case, the Chargers will do everything they can to win next week…..against the Ravens (whom the Dolphins are currently tied with!).
Cleveland @ Denver (Saturday)
Although the Broncos are a game back of the Dolphins, a Browns win here would put them at 8 losses and would essentially end their playoff hopes.
Dallas @ Indianapolis
Let’s go Cowboys! While I think this is a game the Cowboys could come back to earth, they’ve played really well recently. If their shutdown defense can travel to Indy, they could help knock off one of the Dolphins rivals for the 6th playoff spot.
Titans @ Giants
Another NFC East team PhinNation should be rooting for; The Giants. I feel better about the Giants winning against the Titans than the Cowboys. A loss here, severely hurts the Titans chances.
Bucs @ Ravens
Come on Bucs, help another Florida team out! The Bucs have been inconsistent this year, but almost/shoud’ve beaten the Saints last week. They’re on the road, so I don’t give them much of a shot. But, you never know!
Patriots @ Steelers
If the Dolphins win on Sunday, you could argue that we should root for the Steelers, keeping the long shot hope of a division title in tact. However, the Dolphins would have to win out, and the Pats would have to lose to the Bills or Jets in the last 2 weeks….not likely. Instead, a Pats win would continue the downward spiral of the Steelers and would put the Steelers in the wildcard hunt (with the Ravens moving ahead of them for the division lead).
A lot of football to watch this weekend, with the Dolphins playoff hopes dependent on many of the outcomes. This hope that we all have is thanks to the Miami Miracle….let’s hope they can surprise us one more time!
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