The Miami Dolphins are no longer the 6th seed in the AFC playoff picture and find themselves with a thin one game lead to hold the 7th spot.
All things considered, the Miami Dolphins are lucky that they are still holding a playoff spot after a three-game road losing streak that ended with a Saturday loss in Buffalo. Three weeks ago, the Dolphins were holding securely to the 2nd seed. Now, the margin for error is slim.
On Sunday, the playoff picture got put into a jar, shaken up, and dumped back out. The Bills remain number one and the Chiefs number two. Both have clinched playoff spots with the Chiefs locking down the division once again. The remaining three game will decide the top seed.
Miami has less than a 1% chance of taking the East as they are now three games back with three games to play. A win by the Bills this week and the AFC East will belong to them.
The New York Jets ran into the surging Detroit Lions and it looked as is they would sneak out a victory late but the Lions charged back and handed the Jets their 7th loss of the season knocking them to .500, one game behind Miami.
No other game had as much ending intrigue as the Patriots and Raiders. After trailing 17-3 in the first half, the Patriots charged back on a momentum changing pick-6 only to give up a late 4th quarter touchdown that was surprisingly not overturned.
The Patriots tried to move the ball into field goal range but with time expiring and the game tied, the Patriots players tried a series of backward laterals that ended with Jacobi Meyer throwing it back to Chandler Jones of the Raiders who stiff-armed Mac Jones to the ground and ran it in for the game winning touchdown. All the Patriots needed to do was take a knee and take it into overtime. Now, the Patriots are at .500 as well.
The losses by the Jets and the Patriots were good for the Dolphins but another OT game between the Chargers and the Titans sent Miami to 7th. The Chargers victory gave them the same record as the Dolphins, having lost to the Chargers a week ago, Los Angeles is ahead of the Dolphins, moving from the outside to the 6th seed.
The Dolphins will still hold the 7th seed should they lose to the Packers on Christmas Day unless the Patriots lose as well and the Jets win. In that scenario, the Jets would move up to the 7th seed and the Dolphins would drop out. With three games remaining, Miami still holds their destiny given they play the Patriots and Jets to wrap up the season.
Miami may be at 7th but there were other results that could impact the final playoff picture.
The loss by the Titans to the Chargers puts the Titans one-game in front of the Jaguars who knocked off the Cowboys with a pick-6 in overtime. The Jaguars are now one game out of the division lead with three games to go.
The Titans will play the Texans and Cowboys before traveling to face the Jaguars. The AFC South is now far from locked down and Miami could potentially face the possibility of having the Titans thrown into the tie-breaking procedures for a Wild Card spot as the Titans are one game behind Miami in record.
The victory by the Bengals coupled with the loss by the Ravens now puts the Bengals atop the AFC North, that is good for Miami who are one game behind the Ravens but should the Ravens lose and Miami wins this week, the Dolphins could jump ahead of them due to the head-to-head.
The playoff picture is far from completed and there is no scenario that has Miami clinching a spot this week but they could secure a postseason spot with a win against the Packers on Sunday and a win in New England the following week.