The Miami Dolphins will begin a pivotal two game West coast road trip this weekend that will put their playoff hopes on the line.
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The west coast has not been favorable to the Miami Dolphins in recent years. Earlier this season the Dolphins lost their week one opener to the Seahawks their 2nd loss in a row in Seattle. Last season they lost to the San Diego Chargers in San Diego.
In past seasons the Dolphins have lost the last three games they have played against the Chargers in San Diego. They last won in Oakland in 2010 which is the last time they played there and lost to the 49’ers in San Francisco in 2012.
Overall the West Coast is as good to Miami as Miami is to the West coast teams that visit South Florida.
This season however the trip to the California coast could be the deciding the factor as to whether or not the Dolphins can get into a legit playoff hunt or if they will return home thinking about next season. A split in California could at the very least keep Miami in the discussions but if they are going to lose one, losing to the Rams won’t hurt as much.
It’s obviously too early to start talking about the post-season but at the same time it’s imperative to discuss the ramifications of this two game road trip that could put the Dolphins season on ice. Currently the Dolphins are the 7th best team in the AFC. That puts them one game out of 6th place for a wild-card spot.
Two games behind the Dolphins, at 4-5 are the Chargers. A win by San Diego gives them the head to head tie breaker over the Dolphins. Six teams currently have four wins including the Steelers, Titans, and Bills. All teams Miami has played already.
Ahead of the Dolphins is a lot of murky water. The playoff picture is dominated by AFC West teams. Oakland is leading the division but Denver and Kansas City make up the two wild card options. Both are at 6-3. Two games ahead of Miami. Denver is 1.5 games ahead due to them not having their bye week.
Overall the chances of Miami staying in contention could hinge on this weekends game against San Diego and again a week later in Los Angeles. It makes this particular two game trip a bit more important given Miami’s history on the coast.