Miami Dolphins should be thankful they still have a post-season shot

Playoffs? The Miami Dolphins are not officially eliminated because they still have a shot at making the post-season. They can win the AFC East however slim that chance actually is.

With seven weeks left in the 2021 season, the Miami Dolphins find themselves two games back of the Buffalo Bills for 2nd in the East and three games behind the division leading Patriots. If the Dolphins were able to win their remaining six games, they might have a minimal chance to win the division but there is so much that would have to happen. No, their best chance to make the post-season is through a Wild Card birth and that is a razor thin line.

Consider that the Bills face the Patriots twice in the next seven weeks of football. If the Patriots sweep, they will have 9 wins on the season and if they split, both teams would likely be sitting at 8 wins before factoring the rest of the games into the equation. The Patriots weakest game is against the Jaguars.

The Patriots face a reeling Tennessee Titans team this week, then the Bills, a bye week, the Colts, Bills again, Jaguars, and Dolphins.

The Dolphins would need to Bills and Patriots to split their series. This gives both teams one loss heading into the final stretch, gives both a division loss as well. If the Patriots lose four of their final six games, Miami could sneak ahead of them but that is a big “maybe”. The Patriots would finish the year 9 – 8. If the Patriots finish with 10 wins but lost to the Dolphins in week 17 tie breakers would come into play and the Dolphins could sneak into the top spot.

Jan 3, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Roberts (18) is tackled by Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) after making a catch in the fourth quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

In Buffalo, the Bills have gone from the favored AFC Super Bowl representative to a “What the hell is going on” team. They lost two weeks ago to the Jaguars and last week to the Colts. Tonight they cap the Thanksgiving slate of games with a trip to New Orleans.

Buffalo will then play the Patriots, Buccaneers, Panthers, Patriots, and Falcons. If they lose three of those games, the door could be open for the Dolphins as well. The Bills would finish the season 10-7 but with two wins over the Dolphins already, that razor thin chance would have include a fourth loss.

Miami will play the Panthers, Giants, Jets, Titans, Saints, and Patriots in their final six games. Winning out would put the Dolphins at 10 wins. If the Dolphins, Bills, and Patriots all finish with 10 wins, the tie breaker scenarios will be confusing especially if the Bills and Patriots split.

Regardless, for now, the WC spot is the best chance for Miami but even that will require the Dolphins to be nearly perfect, if not perfect, the rest of this season.