Dec 15, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas (31) celebrates his interception as New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola (80) walks back to the sidelines in the final seconds of the game at Sun Life Stadium. Miami defeated New England 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

AFC Playoff Outlook: Week 17

Oct 27, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Jared Odrick (98) celebrates after sacking New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (not pictured) during the third quarterat Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 27, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Jared Odrick (98) celebrates after sacking New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (not pictured) during the third quarterat Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

With all of the games that matter for the Dolphins now complete, it’s time to look at what needs to happen for the Dolphins to make the playoffs. There are two ways the Dolphins get in next week and both scenarios have the Dolphins winning. If the Dolphins lose, there is no way they can make the playoffs.

1. Dolphins defeat the Jets and Ravens lose to the Bengals. It wouldn’t matter what happens in the Chargers game – the Dolphins are in the playoffs.

2. Dolphins defeat the Jets, Ravens defeat the Bengals, and the Chargers defeat the Chiefs. The Dolphins would win the three way tiebreaker based on conference record.

Let’s take a look at the different factors that are pointing in the Dolphins direction.

1. The Dolphins are playing a bad Jets team at home in Miami. Earlier this season, the Dolphins embarrassed the Jets and dismantled them. There is no way the Dolphins lose this game at home in week 17.

2. The Bengals have scored more than 40 points the past three games at home and have not lost a game at home the entire season. Guess what? They are playing the Ravens in Cincinnati next week. Right now, everything points in the Bengals favor. The Bengals will also be fighting the Patriots for the #2 seed. If the Bengals win and the Patriots lose, they are the #2 seed. If both teams win, the Bengals will be the #3 seed. The point is that they have something big to fight for so do not expect them to go through the motions on Sunday.

3. The Chargers are playing the Chiefs in San Diego. The thing that may mess this is up is if the Dolphins win and the Ravens win. The Chargers will have nothing to play for except pride because they will already be eliminated from the playoffs.

It’s going to be an interesting week and we can only hope for the best. Go Dolphins!

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