Who to root for: week 16


With the Dolphins clinging to playoff hopes for one more week, I figured I would write one more edition of “who to root for” this week. If the following results happen, Miami ‘s playoff chances will be alive heading into the final week of the 2017 regular season.

Here’s how the AFC standings look right now:

  1. New England (11-3)
  2. Pittsburgh (11-3)
  3. Jacksonville (10-4)
  4. Kansas City (8-6)
  5. Tennessee (8-6)
  6. Buffalo (8-6)
  7. Baltimore (8-6)
  8. LA Chargers (7-7)
  9. Oakland (6-8)
  10. Miami (6-8)
  11. NY Jets (5-9)
  12. Cincinnati (5-9)
  13. Denver (5-9)
  14. Houston (4-10)
  15. Indianapolis (3-11)
  16. Cleveland (0-14)

Every team from the Jets and below are officially eliminated from playoff contention. The Dolphins are the last team that still has a chance.

Week 16 matchups:

Baltimore Ravens vs. Indianapolis Colts – Colts

The Dolphins obviously want Baltimore to lose because they are a couple games up on them in the AFC. However, if Baltimore wins one or both of their final two games Miami is not eliminated from the playoffs.

If the Colts pull off a miracle, it would give Miami another scenario in which they can make the playoffs going into week 17. If the Dolphins, Ravens and at least one other team such as the Bills, Chargers, or Titans end the season with an 8-8 record, Miami owns the tiebreaker.

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills – Patriots

The Bills need to lose out in order for the Dolphins to have a chance at the playoffs. The Patriots are still playing for home field advantage in the playoffs so they will not be resting anybody this week.

If Tom Brady and company can take care of business one more time it will set Miami up to finish ahead of Buffalo if the Dolphins win out because Miami plays Buffalo in week 17.

Tennessee Titans vs. LA Rams – Rams

The most realistic playoff scenario for Miami involves the Titans losing out because of their tough schedule. The only thing that keeps the Dolphins alive if Tennessee wins is if Baltimore loses out.

The Titans play the Rams and Jaguars to end the year while the Ravens play the Colts and Bengals. Therefore, if the Dolphins want any shot at the postseason they most likely need the Rams to keep rolling and defeat Tennessee Sunday.

NY Jets vs. LA Chargers – Jets

The Chargers need to lose at least once over the next two weeks for Miami to stay alive. The schedule for LA is not too challenging either. After the Jets, they play the Raiders to close the regular season.

The Dolphins need their division rival to get one more win in 2017 to give Miami hope going into next week.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Oakland Raiders – Eagles

Just like the Chargers, Miami needs Oakland to lose at least once over the next two weeks to have a chance to sneak in the playoffs as the six seed. The best possibility for that to happen is this week as Oakland has to go to Philadelphia, and the Eagles are 6-0 at home this season.

Those are all the matchups that matter for the Dolphins this week. The best chance Miami has at the playoffs is this:

  1. Dolphins win out
  2. Titans lose out
  3. Bills lose out
  4. Chargers and Raiders lose once

The only other possibility is if the Ravens somehow lose out, then the scenario changes a little.

The chances are slim but it is the NFL, anything can happen.