AFC Playoff Outlook: Week 15


Article written by Matthew Cannata. Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PhinManiacs

On Thursday, we kick off week 15 of the NFL season, which means another week to be stressed out over the Dolphins! The good news? It’s been a few years since we’ve talked about playoff hopes for the Dolphins this late in the season. The bad news? The Dolphins have to play nearly flawless and hope for a lot of other things to happen for them to get in the playoffs. Despite that though, they have the best shot out of anyone else to make it in as the sixth seed. Let’s take a look at some key matchups and what I think will happen but what I really want to happen.

Teams that don’t have a realistic shot anymore: Bills, Jaguars, Texans, Titans, Browns, and Raiders
Teams that have clinched a playoff spot: Broncos, Colts


Thursday: 8:25 PM EST – Chargers vs. Broncos
Most Thursday night games are pretty boring and don’t mean much for the Dolphins but this week, we jump right into things. This game has an impact on the Dolphins, but not like you think it would. The Chargers will play the Broncos in Denver. I think the Broncos will win this one but we should be rooting for the Chargers. Sounds weird, right? We want the Chargers to win out and get to 9 – 7 because it’s possible it will create a three way tie between themselves, Dolphins, and Ravens. If that were to happen, Miami would get in the playoffs based on the best record in the AFC. We should be rooting for a big game from Phillip Rivers and the rest of the Chargers team.

Sunday: 1:00 PM EST – Patriots vs. Dolphins
The Patriots are coming to town and it’s obvious how we need this one to go. If you asked me last week who would win, I would tell you the Patriots. However, they lost a huge part of their offense in Rob Gronkowski, which changes everything. The Dolphins will need to contain Shane Vereen and if they can do that, they should be able to win. I think that’s what will happen and that’s what we need to happen. However, if the Dolphins end up losing, it doesn’t eliminate their playoff hopes, but it will make it a little harder.

Sunday: 4:05 PM EST – Jets vs. Panthers
The Jets travel to Carolina and I don’t think there is any way possible they win this game. The Panthers defense is going to eat Geno Smith alive. A Panthers win would knock the Jets out of the playoff picture.

Sunday: 4:05 PM EST – Chiefs vs. Raiders
The Chiefs have only three losses and it would be great if they lost the remainder of their games. Do I see that happening? No. I think the Chiefs will win but we should be rooting for them to lose in order to move one step closer to creating a tie for the wildcard spots.

Sunday: 8:30 PM EST  – Bengals vs. Steelers
For the past two weeks, I said we should be rooting for the Bengals to lose so the Ravens could come up and win the division. However, they’ve won the past two weeks so we no longer can afford to have the Ravens win out and win the division. I think the Bengals beat the Steelers and that’s what we need to happen. A Steelers loss puts them out of the playoff picture.

Monday: 8:40 PM EST – Ravens vs. Lions
The Ravens travel to Detroit on Monday night, which is great news for us. We desperately need the Ravens to lose two of their next three games for the Dolphins to have an extremely good chance of making the playoffs. They should’ve lost on Sunday but they didn’t. However, the Lions are at home and on Monday night. I think the Lions win this and we need them to win this game.