The best image from today’s game wasn’t the game breaking tackle breaking catch and run and subsequent TD by Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay, it was Stephen Ross with a smile on his face when the last second ticked off the clock. The Dolphins didn’t blister a scoring frenzy and their defense didn’t shut down the Chargers, but they won.
The win puts the Dolphins squarely in the driver seat for a playoff birth. Entering the day, the Dolphins, Chargers, Ravens, and Browns all sat one game behind a NY Jets teams holding a one game lead on the sixth spot. Only the Dolphins and Chargers played each other. Cleveland lost to the Bengals earlier and the Ravens lost in OT after a long weather delay.
The win by Miami puts the Dolphins tied with the Jets at 5-5. They still play them twice this season including two weeks from today and the final game of the season. In the remaining six games, the Dolphins play four divisional games. They will host the Carolina Panthers next Sunday. They will play their only other non-division game against Pittsburgh in three weeks.
Conversely, the Jets will have a somewhat softer schedule. They will face the Ravens, Raiders, and Browns in three of their final six. Two against the Dolphins and one against Carolina. The softer schedule makes every Dolphins game that much more important on their way to a post season spot.
Given the tumultuous season thus far, it’s amazing the Dolphins have this kind of control at all. Still they have managed to stick together in the face adversity and must not ban together as more national spotlight creeps in their direction with the investigation that starts this week.
Regardless the Dolphins played well enough to win and while they left some points on the board and missed some opportunities, they are their own best chance for the post season.