Miami Dolphins still hoping for 5th or 6th seed playoff shot

Empty seats two days before a Dolphins home game at Hard Rock Stadium: Image by Brian Miller
Empty seats two days before a Dolphins home game at Hard Rock Stadium: Image by Brian Miller /

The Miami Dolphins had the season in their own hands but a loss to the Ravens has changed that. Miami now needs help and while it could come this weekend it’s more likely going to arrive, if at all, over the next two or even three weeks.

Currently the Raiders have the top seed in the AFC followed by the Patriots at number 2. The Ravens have the 3rd spot with Indianapolis and their 6-6 record at number 4. Kansas City holds number five and Denver slid back into slot six after the Dolphins lost last weekend.

Miami holds tie-breakers over the Steelers and Bills but not over Baltimore or Tennessee. The Titans are one game behind Miami and two games behind in the WC race while Pittsburgh is tied with Miami one game back.


Losing to the Ravens has now taken any control over their 2016 fate out of the Dolphins hands. A single loss by the Ravens could put the Dolphins in a precarious position because they no longer own the head to head elimination tie-breaker. Here is a look at what will help Miami this weekend as the season moves towards regular season conclusion.

While it’s important for the Dolphins to retain a shot at the division, the reality is that Miami needs Baltimore to pull off a big upset against the Patriots this weekend. If the Ravens lose to New England on Monday night and Pittsburgh beats the Bills, the Steelers would lead the division and the Ravens would hold the tie-breaker over Miami.


Ideally the Steelers would lose to the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo is one game out of the wild-card race but so are a bunch of other teams as well. Should Pittsburgh lose Baltimore would retain the division lead win or lose. And that will help the Dolphins as a season ending tie with Pittsburgh will go to Miami.


The Texans are hoping to climb back into the division lead but the Colts now control that. The Texans are one game back of Miami and Pittsburgh as are the Bills and Tennessee Titans.

This weekend the Texans and the Colts face off for what could decide the division.


As it stands now the Broncos hold the 6th seed in the AFC with games against the Patriots, Raiders, and Chiefs still on their schedule. This weekend it’s the Tennessee Titans. A win by Denver would just about put Tennessee out of the playoff picture and thus eliminate a tie breaking contender with the Dolphins, if they lose one more game. With Denver slated to play three big games down the stretch, winning Sunday may not be a bad thing.

Kansas City

The Chiefs hold the 5th seed in the AFC and it doesn’t look like they will give it up anytime soon but they are not a lock yet to make the post-season. The Chiefs are 9-3, two games ahead of Miami and the teams did not play each other this season. Any tie-breakers would come down first to conference record. Miami is 5-4 in the conference while the Chiefs are 6-2. The Chiefs however do not have any easy schedule in front of them.

The Chiefs play the Raiders in primetime on Thursday night and it’s a game that could see the division lead change hands. Two of the final four games are against teams with losing or close to losing records. The Titans and Chargers but they also face the Raiders for a final time tonight, as well as the Broncos in two weeks.

A loss by Kansas City tonight will also allow the Raiders to maintain home field advantage over the Patriots.