The Herald crew was the last of the media contingent to leave the Edward Jones Olmos Dome Sunday night because, truth be told, we suck at math. And for about two hours collegue David J. Neal was crunching numbers and scenarios to come up with this singular but important nugget:
If the Dolphins win the rest of their games, they win the AFC East.
Said another way, the Dolphins have to go 11-5 to guarantee themselves the AFC East title.
Now, Miami can make the playoffs without winning out but then we get into the minefield known as needing help from other teams. And the Dolphins don't want to tread there unless they have to.
The Dolphins are definitely aware of their opportunity. As coach Tony Sparano said today, his players knew Sunday's results when they stepped off their charter Sunday evening and they all understood victories over Buffalo in Toronto, at home against San Francisco, at Kansas City, and at New York would give Miami the division crown.
"Not looking ahead is a ridiculous statement," Sparano said, when it comes to understanding the possibilities.
The question is do you think the Dolphins can win out?
The trip to Toronto this week saves Miami from playing an outdoor game in Buffalo as the Rogers Center is an indoor facility. The home game against San Francisco is winnable but the 49ers suprised the Bills Sunday. The game at KC is winnable but the Chiefs have shown impressive fight at times this year and they beat Oakland Sunday. And yes, the Jets lost to Denver on Sunday, but they have a victory over Miami already once this season.
So again the question to you becomes: Will the Dolphins win out to assure themselves the AFC East title?