Playoff Picture Now Crystal Clear for Miami

In anticipation of the worst news Dolphins fans could possibly conceive, the implications of the weekend’s results were largely glossed over.

The path to the playoffs for the Dolphins is now down to two teams.

Miami only has to be concerned with the out of town scoreboard when it concerns the Denver Broncos.

Should Matt Moore find two wins in the final three games, and the Broncos drop two of their own, the Dolphins will secure a playoff spot for the first time in eight years.

What about the 7-6 Texans and Titans? Don’t the 7-6 Ravens have a tie-breaker over Miami? And the Steelers have just as many wins at 8-5.

Correct. However, none of those four teams can secure the sixth seed over Miami with the simple caveat that the Dolphins finish 10-6.

Between the two pair (Titans/Texans and Ravens/Steelers), one of each has to award a division winner.

Tennessee and Houston play in week 17. Even if they both won the next two games and entered that game at 9-6, the winner gets the AFC South and the loser is 9-7.

The Titans and Texans are not a threat.

Baltimore and Pittsburgh play each other in week 16.

If Pittsburgh wins that game, Baltimore cannot get to 10 wins and is eliminated in the “Dolphins 10 wins’ scenario.”

It Baltimore wins all three of their remaining games, they take the AFC North title and the Steelers are at 10-6 (assuming they win the other two games – that is irrelevant at this point) and lose the tie-breaker to Miami.

The Steelers and Ravens are not a threat.

That leaves us with that Denver Broncos. Denver is currently 8-5 and any tie-breaker scenario involving Miami will go in favor of Gary Kubiak’s Broncos.

Denver plays:

New England

@ Kasas City

Oakland

In the last two games, the Denver offense has scored 20 points on 23 possessions. Less than one point per possession whether it was Trevor Siemien or Paxton Lynch – it didn’t matter. The league average is right around two points per drive.

In a given game there are typically 10-12 possessions. Without any signs of reinforcements for a rejuvenated running game and a passing game that is regressing at an even more alarming rate, it’s difficult to imagine the Broncos defense holding the high powered offenses of the Patriots, Chiefs and Raiders under 20 points.

The Denver defense could turn it on. They could make big special teams plays or manufacture some defensive scores, but my money is on a 2-1 finish being highly unlikely

I realize none of this matters if the Dolphins don’t take care of business on two hostile environments of two of our most hated rivals. (There are scenarios where Miami gets in at 9-7 but we won’t go into that until we have to.)

I realize that Matt Moore stalled out three drives before moving the Dolphins 45 yards for a winning field goal. That he has been shaky in the pre-season since his last start – which was nearly five years ago.

But it’s entirely conceivable that, if the Dolphins win at the Meadowlands and in Buffalo, that the sixth seed is clinched on Christmas Eve with week 17’s game bearing no relevance.

At that point, we hope that Ryan Tannehill rises from the ashes and puts together a story book ending.

@travis_writes

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