The Miami Dolphins have four games left in the regular season and four tough games ahead of them but what about the rest of the AFC playoff picture?
The Dolphins’ chances of winning the AFC East took a hit on Sunday night when they lost to the Chargers and while they still hold a one-game lead for a Wild Card spot, the chase got a lot tighter with that loss to the Chargers. Here is a look, first, at the AFC East.
We know what the Dolphins’ schedule looks like and realistically, the Dolphins need to win at minimum two of those games and likely need a little help. Three wins of the four should be enough with an 11-win season.
- @ Buffalo
- Green Bay
- @ New England
- New York Jets
If the Dolphins lose to the Bills on Saturday night, the Bills will likely win the AFC East and the path to the first overall seed, and a bye week will be pretty much set.
- @ Chicago
- @ Cincinnati
A win over the Dolphins will mean Buffalo only needs to win one of their final three games to take the division. Miami’s best chance right now is to get a Wild Card birth unless they can pull off the upset Saturday night.
The Jets dropped considerably after their loss to the Bills on Sunday. They fell from the 7th seed to the 9th seed behind the Chargers and Patriots who now hold the 7th seed. The Jets’ schedule is not bad but it isn’t great either and by week 18, they could be playing a spoiler role against the Dolphins.
- @ Seahawks
- @ Dolphins
The Jets need to win at minimum three games to make the playoffs and more than likely both of their games against the AFC teams to help their conference record.
In New England, the Patriots’ win over the Cardinals on Monday night put them in the final spot of the AFC playoff picture but their season is far from the postseason. The Patriots may have one of the tougher schedules remaining and will likely need to win at least two if not three as well.
- @ Raiders
- @ Bills
There is a benefit for the Patriots, they could face a Bills team in the final week playing for nothing but pride. The Bills will not likely rest their starters if they have the bye-week locked up but I doubt they would play them the whole game, still, it’s a division game and the Bills would love to knock NE out of the postseason picture.