Miami Dolphins potential scenarios for the first week of the playoffs

Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills will determine not only if the Dolphins will earn the AFC East crown, but how their playoff journey will start.

Denver Broncos v Miami Dolphins
Denver Broncos v Miami Dolphins / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

This Sunday is the NFL's season finale, which means huge playoff implications.

The Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills will conclude the 2023-2024 season in their primetime showdown. This game will set the final standings in the playoff picture.

There are many ways the playoffs can start for Miami. It could start with rematches from the regular season or new matchups we haven't seen in a while.

Either way, win or lose, expect for one of these playoff scenarios to become real.

Let's get a better look at the possible, first playoff games for the Miami Dolphins:

Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs

This scenario can become reality only if the Dolphins lose to the Bills.

The Dolphins faced the Chiefs back in week nine at Frankfurt, Germany. They were dominated by them in the first half before starting to come back in the third quarter.

Unfortunately, they weren't unable to complete the comeback and lost 21-14.

Seven games after that, the Chiefs went on a rollercoaster, losing four of those seven games. These included shocking losses to Green Bay and Las Vegas.

It was smooth sailing for the Dolphins, however. The only bumps on the road were the shocking loss to Tennessee and the domination by Baltimore.

A meeting between these two evenly matched teams will sure bring plenty of anticipation and more on both sides.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins

This is just one of three scenarios where the Dolphins can host a playoff home game for the first time since 2009, but only if they and a few other teams win their games.

Wins by Miami and Jacksonville, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and/or Denver will set the Dolphins up against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Their last meeting was back in October 2022. It was Kenny Pickett's rookie season at the time.

Things have changed for Pickett since then. This season has been a rollercoaster ride of close call wins for his team.

When you think about it, however, the Dolphins had it better.

If this game happens, Pickett will need more than a close call to get past Miami. Although, that is easier said than done.

Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins

Could you imagine the Dolphins playing against the Bills this Sunday only to face them again nearly a week later?

That will be case if they win along with Jacksonville, Baltimore, Tennessee, and/or Pittsburgh.

In fact, this game could be a rematch of last year's AFC wild card game between the two where the Bills eliminated them, 34-31. The loss still haunts them.

Their first meeting of the season in week four didn't go too well. Miami was dominated 48-20, and it would set off the chain of doubt that they could beat a team with a winning record.

That has been the biggest challenge for Miami this season. They only had one win against teams like that.

Beating Buffalo once is good enough. Beating them twice on the same month?

That could take a miracle, especially if Miami doesn't want a repeat of last year.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami Dolphins

This scenario can only come true with wins from Miami, Tennessee, Baltimore, and Las Vegas.

The last time these two teams met in the playoffs was in 1999. The Dolphins were dominated by the Jaguars 62-7 in the Divisional Round that year.

I see this matchup bringing back 2019 National Championship vibes with Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa facing off for the second time ever in the NFL.

The quarterbacks' first meeting was in October 2021 where Lawrence and the Jags played "catch-up" with the Dolphins until they beat them 23-20.

Now, flash forward to now where both teams are at their best. If this game happens, I bet the Dolphins will make sure they stay two steps ahead this time.


Sunday night's game against Buffalo will determine what seed the Dolphins will end up in.

These four scenarios have a 50/50 chance of either Miami making it to the next round or suffering another wild card playoff elimination.

Whatever the case may be, I advise all Dolphins fans to take a breather and focus on the upcoming game.

Once the playoff schedule is revealed, then decide whether there is a need to be nervous or not.